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City attorney files charges in April fake kidnapping

After grabbing national media coverage for filming an alleged kidnapping awareness video, three relatives could face one gross misdemeanor charge and up to one year in prison.

Charges of disorderly persons, a person who creates or participates in any noise, disturbance or any other demonstration calculated or intended to frighten or intimidate or disturb any person, were mailed May 30 to Clallam County Superior Court summoning cousins Jason Holden, 25, and Jesse Holden, 25, and relative Shellie Baskins, 34, for a court date to be determined.

Sequim City Attorney Craig Ritchie said he believes they have sufficient evidence against the trio for the April 12 event that appeared on YouTube and later local and national news outlets.

Sgt. Sean Madison of the Sequim Police Department reports that Jesse Holden phoned 9-1-1 dispatch stating they would be doing a kidnapping awareness video in Carrie Blake Park using a relative’s fiance’s child to make as many people aware about kidnapping so people do not get upset.

Sequim Police were contacted about 12 minutes later and three minutes later the first 9-1-1 call came in reporting a child abduction, Madison’s report states.

Baskins was at the park with her 4-year-old son and asked two women to watch him while she went to the bathroom, Madison said in the report, and that Jason Holden, wearing a mask, drove in a minivan and took the boy while Jesse Holden, also wearing a mask, drove away.

Madison said police interviewed several witnesses who either tried to stop the fake kidnapping, heard screaming and/or were distraught by the experience.

The Holdens returned to the park with the boy and told officers that they were making an educational video.

Since the video’s release, the Holdens have appeared on television saying their intention was to raise awareness and not to perform a prank. On their web channel, which features prank videos, they apologized, saying they weren’t expecting such an intense reaction from Sequim residents.

Ritchie said the charges are more poignant now when neighbors stopped a Utah man on June 2 from attempting to abduct a 3-year-old child.

“Sometimes we use criminal prosecution to remind people what is the law and not,” he said.

Sequim Police previously considered an unrestrained child charge against the trio but it was dropped.

The Holdens and Baskins could face up to 364 days in jail or a $5,000 fine.

 

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