Cops: 2 teens face felonies after faking kidnapping in Forsyth County for YouTube

Ava Coleman (left), Christopher Kratzer

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Ava Coleman (left), Christopher Kratzer

Two teenagers in Forsyth County are facing felony charges after filming a fake kidnapping that they planned to upload to YouTube, authorities said.

Ava Coleman, 17, and Christopher Kratzer, 19, face charges of false public alarm and reckless conduct after the alleged staged kidnapping prank last week, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. False public alarm is a felony charge, while reckless conduct is a misdemeanor.

About 6 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff’s office received multiple 911 calls from near The Collection shopping center about a woman possibly being abducted, the post said. The woman, who was tied up with a covering over her head, was allegedly yelling from inside a Chevrolet SUV.

The sheriff’s office sent eight patrol cars, which is more than half of the deputies in south Forsyth County, to the scene to try to find the SUV, the post said.

The SUV ended up being stopped by an off-duty Gwinnett County police officer who happened to hear about the incident. Johns Creek police also responded to the incident, which crossed into their city limits.

Kratzer was the driver of the SUV, while Coleman was the alleged kidnapping victim, the post said. Coleman turned herself in Friday, while Kratzer turned himself in Monday, sheriff’s office spokesman Doug Rainwater said.

“If you want to create a social media following, I would strong(ly) dissuade you from this stupidity,” Sheriff Ron Freeman said in the Facebook post. “Good armed citizens might have been justified in using force to stop what they legitimately believed was a kidnapping. Committing a criminal act for social media likes will get you arrested in Forsyth County, that’s not the kind of attention most people want to have.”

ARRESTS MADE IN SOCIAL MEDIA KIDNAPPING HOAX On Wednesday, July 3rd around 6pm, FCSO received multiple 911 calls from...

Posted by Forsyth County Sheriff's Office on Monday, July 8, 2019

In addition to his charges, Kratzer also faces a count of felony probation violation, which stems from an April 2018 incident where he damaged five vehicles by throwing objects out of the window of his vehicle at passing cars, Rainwater said.

He pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal damage to property and was sentenced to nine years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

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