TEENAGERS Admit Kidnapping Story Was a Lie To Cover Up Joyride

Thursday, July 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) _ What was first reported as a kidnapping turned out to be a 400-mile joyride.

Two Arkansas teen-agers have told Oklahoma City police that they made up a kidnapping story that they reported Monday night.

After traveling from Jonesboro to Oklahoma, Jeremy Dale Bryant, 19, and a 14-year-old boy initially told police that two men forced them at knifepoint into the trunk of a Ford Mustang.

The boys, who are cousins, said they borrowed the car from the girlfriend of the 14-year-old's brother to go to a store to buy cigarettes and were confronted by the two men outside the Arkansas store. Bryant and the 14-year-old told police the men drove them to Oklahoma City.

The boys said they managed to escape when their abductors abandoned the car. They said they pulled an emergency latch on the back of the rear seat, allowing them to exit the trunk.

Bryant admitted to police Wednesday that they contrived the story to cover up a joyride in a car taken from a friend. Police said the boys asked to borrow the car but never returned it.

Police said they were initially suspicious of the kidnapping story.

``If they were in the trunk all that time, they would have been dehydrated,'' Capt. Jessica Cummins of the Oklahoma City Police Department said. ``Their clothes would have been drenched with sweat.''

Oklahoma City police will push for criminal charges against the pair, Cummins said. The decision on whether to file charges will be made by the district attorney.

Investigators were completing their report on the incident Thursday afternoon.

Jonesboro detective Brad Rossman said Jonesboro police won't file charges against the two because the kidnapping was reported in Oklahoma. He said the owner of the vehicle also won't file charges.