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Lawmaker plans to sponsor legislation to penalize those involved in ‘performance crimes’

Posted at 10:40 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 23:16:16-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Two women Wayne Covil interviewed earlier this week told him that the five people who staged in abduction in the parking lot of a Chesterfield Walmart Sunday should face a penalty for their reckless actions.

"Yes, I do believe they should be charged," one woman said.

"I think there should be some kind of reprimand for their actions," another woman said.

But, Chesterfield's top cop said nothing currently exists on the books to charge them, so they were not charged.

"It's an emerging problem, and I think as a society our laws need to address that," said Colonel Jeffrey Katz, Chesterfield's Chief of Police.

Colonel Jeffrey Katz

Colonel Katz said the five people involved, all either 19 or 20 years old, planned to film the staged abduction so they could post it on social media for reaction.

"It's deeply frustrating because we were deeply angered by the fact that our resources were really squandered," Katz said.

He said his investigators had to re-direct their efforts from working to find who killed 19-year-old Breland Poole for an abduction that wasn't, and he wanted to penalize the people involved, but he just couldn't.

"We'd really like to see something that addresses performance crime, in otherwise hazardous acts or reckless acts that people embark upon in public spaces in an effort to gain social media attention," Katz said.

CBS 6 brought Colonel Katz's concerns to state Senator Amanda Chase (R-District 11) who represents a large part of Chesterfield County.

"I'm very surprised we don't already have something on the books," Chase said.

Chase said she will sponsor legislation in 2019 that would create some type of penalty for what Katz calls performance crime.

"It may be a $500 fine, but I'm definitely gonna take some type of action," said Chase. "I think we need to deter that."

How it looked to witnesses

 "Several witnesses reported that a four-door sedan, which had Virginia tags and appeared to be green or gold in color, pulled up to the store’s grocery-side doors and a male approached the vehicle," a Chesterfield Police spokesperson said. "As he opened one of the vehicle’s doors, the vehicle’s trunk opened and a female jumped out of the trunk and fled."

It was then, police said, two men got out of the car and chased the female - who police described as a black female, about 15-20 years old, with full hair that was pulled up.

"The two males caught the female, who struggled as they forced her through the parking lot and back into the vehicle," police said. "The vehicle then left the parking lot at a high rate of speed."

Police described the male who approached the vehicle as a black male wearing a white shirt, gray shorts and black-and-white shoes.

"The first of the two males who chased the female is described as a black male wearing all black clothing," police said. "The second of the two males who chased the female is described as a black male wearing a blue shirt with an unknown logo on the front and black shorts. The driver, who remained in the vehicle throughout the incident, is described as a black male."