PITTSBURGH (AP) — A central Pennsylvania church subjected members of a youth group to a mock kidnapping and interrogations without telling them it was staged. The mother of one 14-year-old girl has filed a complaint with police.
The pastor of the Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Middletown said the church is “so saddened” the girl was traumatized on March 21. Pastor John Lanza said March 23 there had been emails of support from other students because the intent of the raid was to prepare them for what they might encounter as missionaries overseas. He said the mock kidnappers included an off-duty police officer and a retired Army captain.
The mock kidnappers covered the students' heads, put them in a van and questioned them.
Police opened an investigating and declined to comment.