Gay activist charged after faked kidnapping

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
When Adam Hoover reached out on social media with claims of being kidnapped, followers retweeted his cry for help over a thousand times and flooded local police with phone calls. | WLWT Screenshot

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Christian Examiner) -- A gay-rights activist who faked being abducted March 2 is now facing charges for the first-degree misdemeanor crime of "making false alarms."

Police charged Adam Hoover, 20, co-president of Marriage Equality Ohio, Tuesday after he reportedly made online claims that he was abducted and feared for his life, according to NBC affiliate WLWT.

"Please help me I'm in the trunk of my ford escort red 2000 gbh 2812," the 20-year-old reportedly wrote on his Facebook page and Twitter account. "They said they are going to kill my family please call 911 I don't want them to hear me."

The message appeared online around midnight and included his address and mother's phone number.

Authorities located Hoover's abandoned car on the highway near the Ohio-Indiana border, WLWT reported. The young man subsequently was seen unharmed while exiting a home in a neighboring Cincinnati suburb -- with a police escort.

Greene Township police official Lt. Jim Vetter told BuzzFeed News Hoover's SOS went viral and yielded a flood of calls that launched an investigation which "expended every resource" only to reveal there was no kidnapping.

According to Vetter, Hoover walked up to a stranger's house and asked for help. The residents then called 911.

"He appeared to be of sound mind when found," Vetter told Buzzfeed. Authorities did not say how the hoax was uncovered or why Hoover made up the ordeal. Vetter attributed the drama to "life's stresses."

"It wouldn't be fair to go into too much detail, but he's a young man and as many young kids do, he's dealing with some issues," Vetter said.

Vetter did note Hoover was evaluated at a local hospital and was not physically harmed. He is expected to receive a date for his appearance in court next week.