Police have arrested an Ohio mother who lied in a Facebook video claiming one of her children had nearly been kidnapped, USA TODAY reports.
Chelsie “Harris” Hendel posted a live Facebook video on Thursday in which she claimed that a man had grabbed her daughter’s arm in a Walmart parking lot in Marion, Ohio.
“That man walked up and he grabbed (my daughter) and I looked at him and I said ‘what the F are you doing that is my kid,’” Hendel said in the clip.
— The Marion Star (@TheMarionStar) August 11, 2018
She added: “I wanted to let everyone know about this because they couldn’t get a good look of him on the cameras and there is nothing really that we could do about it but she is fine and everything is fine.”
Hendel reportedly said the perpetrator had dark hair and wore tennis shoes, a dark blue shirt and dark blue jeans.
She further claimed that she notified store employees and law enforcement about the incident, but was told they couldn’t do anything because security camera footage didn’t show the suspect’s face clearly.
But Marion County sheriff’s deputies determined Hendel actually never contacted the store or police about the alleged abduction attempt.
Sheriff Tim Bailey told the news outlet that store security footage showed Hendel and her children shopped at the store for about 45 minutes without incident.
Deputies subsequently visited Hendel to interview her so they could get her side of the story.
Then the truth came out.
“She admitted to making the story up,” Bailey said.
Hendel was arrested on suspicion of inducing panic for the minute-and-a-half Facebook video, which generated hundreds of reactions. The charge would be a misdemeanor.
Bailey told USA Today that the alleged abduction and the claim that his department didn’t respond properly warranted serious investigation.
“The constitution protects free speech but there are certain limitations,” Bailey said. “For instance you can’t walk into a crowded movie theater and shout ‘fire.'”