Police: New York couple's apparent abduction was a hoax

Is this an abduction or a hoax?
Is this an abduction or a hoax?


    Is this an abduction or a hoax?


Is this an abduction or a hoax? 01:05

Story highlights

  • Police: It was a hoax, part of a surprise birthday party
  • No one will be charged, police say
  • The incident was captured on surveillance video
An apparent abduction involving a couple in New York City was a hoax, part of a surprise birthday party, New York police said Monday.
The people involved came forward, police said. Since a police report was never filed, there will be no charges, police spokeswoman Sophia Tassy said.
The "abduction" on Friday was captured on surveillance video, and led to police searching for the couple.
In the surveillance video, a man in a mask races around a corner near a park. He is followed by a person who appears to be a man with a plastic bag over his head.
CNN affiliate WABC reported two young girls told police that they saw one of the men point a firearm and force the woman into the vehicle, which sped away.
But no one was reported in missing in the area.
Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne of the New York Police Department said Sunday night that the incident in the Washington Heights neighborhood "may have been a hoax staged amongst friends to celebrate one of their birthdays."
Another person told WABC that three men were camped out in the minivan before the incident took place. She said she thought they looked suspicious because it wasn't cold enough for someone to be wearing a mask.