An 11-year-old Florida girl was arrested and charged with filing a false police report for allegedly claiming a man with a gun kidnapped her best friend, a sheriff said on Thursday.
The girl told authorities that she had made the call as part of a social media trend in which people report hoax crimes to law enforcement, Sheriff Mike Chitwood of Volusia County, which includes Daytona Beach, said in an interview.
“She basically tells us that she was doing a YouTube challenge that she thought would be really funny, on how to prank 911,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said in an interview.
The girl on Wednesday texted 911 using a false name and said she was in a vehicle pursuing a white van in which her 14-year-old friend was being held by an armed man, Chitwood said.
Officers from across the county responded to the call, with a helicopter providing air support.
Law enforcement later traced the 911 call to a house in Port Orange, about five miles south of Daytona Beach, where the 11-year-old was taken into custody.
Charges the girl is facing
The girl, whom Reuters is not identifying because of her age, faces a felony charge of making a false police report concerning the use of a firearm in a violent manner and a misdemeanor charge for misusing 911 services.
It was not immediately clear whether the girl had a lawyer.
Her family will likely also face a fine for the cost of law enforcement’s response, Chitwood said.