New York Daily News (TNS)
NEW YORK — A 16-year-old girl who appeared to be kidnapped off a rainy Bronx street admitted to cops Tuesday she set the whole thing up to get away from her strict mom, a police source said.
“It was staged,” the source said.
The teen, Karol Sanchez, was being interviewed by detectives at the 40th Precinct stationhouse Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if she or the four men caught on surveillance video “forcing” her into a car in front of her horrified mom, will be charged. The “kidnappers” turned out to be friends of hers.
The hoax prompted a massive police response. Cops released video of the Monday night incident and a statewide Amber Alert was issued Tuesday morning.
The teen and suspects soon realized their stunt had turned into a headline-grabbing incident.
“Once they realized what they did, with the Amber Alert on their phones, it was like, ‘Oh, s---, we got a problem.’”
About 2:30 p.m. Tuesday Sanchez turned up on Eagle Avenue near E. 156th Street, right where she was confronted the night before.
The 15-hour ordeal started Monday about 11:20 p.m.
In 10 shocking seconds captured on video, a beige sedan pulled up to Sanchez and her mother as they walked along the Melrose block. They lived in Duchess County but were in the Bronx to see family.
Four men who appeared to be in their 20s were inside the car, police said. Two got out, snatching Sanchez and shoving her mother to the ground.
“I heard screeching of tires,” said witness Damon Doughty. “I went to the window and when I got there, there were three people in a car and the guy in the backseat was kicking the mom out of the back seat. Then they grabbed the daughter back into the car because it looked like she tried to get away. Then the car sped off. She (the victim’s mother) ran and she was screaming. She was just screaming and yelling.”
The mother was not hurt but was hysterical after the car sped off.
“It was frightening. She was screaming on the sidewalk and I couldn’t understand what she was screaming about,” said Mildred Watson, 70.
“I am frightened and worried. They tell us to walk in couples but being in couples doesn’t help nowadays, not even being in groups. I’m getting my gun license back. It’s time to leave New York.”
Police were aware that the mom wanted to move the family back to her native Honduras — and that Karol didn’t want to go, sources said.