- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. (AP) - Members of a West Virginia high school baseball team will not face charges for a kidnapping prank on an interstate in North Carolina, police said.

At least police eight cruisers responded after a motorist reported seeing someone in a speeding pickup truck on Interstate 74 waving frantically. The motorist told police that the person’s mouth and hands were taped, Lt. Patrick O’Toole with the High Point Police Department in High Point, North Carolina, told media outlets.

Officers, with guns drawn, pulled the vehicle over. They soon determined that the kidnapping was a prank, O’Toole said.

“As we were sorting through it, it became apparent that this was some sort of game. They thought it was funny,” O’Toole told the East Liverpool Review (https://bit.ly/1HiBRc5 ). “One of them said they thought it would be funny to scare some people.”

The incident occurred Sunday as four members of the Oak Glen High School baseball team and their coach, Mathew Deveaney, were traveling to a tournament in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Police cited Deveaney, 26, of Oakdale, Pennsylvania, for speeding.

“We have to treat it as if it’s legitimate. We hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” he said. “We were just responding to the information we were getting. We have to stop the vehicle and make an assessment.”

Hancock County Schools Superintendent Suzan Smith said she does not believe that the students had ill intent. She and school officials plan to meet with them when they return to West Virginia.

“When the lady saw that the young guys, they were taped and banging on the window and so on, she took it very seriously, and then the police have to take it seriously, also,” Smith told WTOV-TV (https://bit.ly/1G4NCpe).

“The school and myself both will be talking to them, and it’s something in today’s world you really can’t have,” Smith said. “But I imagine at our meeting I’ll be doing most of the talking.”

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