Orlando Teens Fake Kidnapping, Demand $50K Ransom From Father

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By Brent Woodie, Christian Post Contributor
November 17, 2011|5:10 pm

An Orlando teenager is facing charges for staging his own kidnapping to extort a ransom from his father, according to Delray Beach police.

The 17-year-old disappeared from the “Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis” tournament in Delray Beach on Sunday morning. He later called his father claiming his captors were demanding $50,000 for his release, police said.

Delray Beach cops arrested Kevin Ashton, 17, in a Budget Inn hotel on Tuesday -- two days after he disappeared at a celebrity tennis tournament, according to television station WESH. The teen called his dad on Sunday and said his abductors wanted money, according to the Associated Press.

The apparent kidnapping sparked a huge manhunt involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Ashton went quietly with police. His supposed partner in crime, Joshua Andre Pee, 23, fled on foot and broke into a home, looking for a place to hide, according to reports.

When agents moved in, Pee ran off and broke into a house on the 500 block of Palm Trail. The homeowner and her daughter fled and flagged down police who were searching the area. A sergeant tasered Pee after he refused to sit on the ground and surrender, according to the investigative report.

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During questioning, Pee denied trying to extort money from the teenager's father. However, federal agents said Pee bought a cellphone at Walmart and made the ransom call to Ashton's parents on Sunday, according to WFTV.

He was charged with the burglary of an occupied dwelling and resisting arrest. The teenager was also charged with grand theft, the report stated.

Two homes suffered major damage after being raided.

"The amount of resources that it took to locate this gentleman I'm sure exceeded the $50,000 that they were trying to get from his parents," said Sgt. Nicole Guerriero of the Delray Beach Police Department to WPTV.

 

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