PEI

P.E.I. woman won't face charges for joke that sparked Amber Alert

The woman who prompted Prince Edward Island's first-ever Amber Alert Monday by yelling out a car window that she was being kidnapped won't be charged, but police in Summerside hope she chooses her words more carefully in the future.

Police initially thought the potential victim was 12 years old, but she is actually in her 30s

Summerside police Sgt. Jason Blacquiere says the woman made a 'poor choice of words' when she yelled out of a car window that she was being kidnapped. (Rick Gibbs/CBC)

The woman who prompted Prince Edward Island's first-ever Amber Alert Monday by yelling out a car window that she was being kidnapped won't be charged, but police in Summerside hope she chooses her words more carefully in the future.

Sgt. Jason Blacquiere said the woman contacted police Monday night after a photo of the car she was in was made public. 

Based on a witness description, police had initially thought the person in the car was a 12-year-old girl. She is actually a woman in her 30s from western P.E.I.

Police had sent out an Amber Alert shortly after 1 p.m. Monday, and had all available resources searching for her.

The woman said she had seen the Amber Alert but told police she didn't think it was her they were looking for based on the description. It was only when the photo of the car she was in was posted after 7 p.m. that she realized what had happened.

There was no intention for her to cause any sort of alarm.— Sgt. Jason Blacquiere

"There was no intention for her to cause any sort of alarm or initiate any police kind of investigation," Blacquiere said.

"A poor choice of words and hopefully she can choose her words better next time."

Police say it was important to get the information of the possible abduction out to the public as quickly as possible. (John Robertson/CBC)

Blacquiere said the woman saw a friend at an intersection and jokingly yelled to her that she was being kidnapped. It was overheard by a bystander who misunderstood — and thought the woman was about 12 years old — and called police.

Though there had been no report of a missing person, Blacquiere said it was important to send the Amber Alert out in case it was an actual abduction.

"We wanted to get as much information as we could out publicly to hopefully intervene as quickly as we could if that had been the case."

Woman's name not released

Blacquiere said the woman's name will not be released because it would not serve the public's interest.

"She's remorseful for her actions, there's no charges forthcoming so we won't be releasing her identity."

The Amber Alert was a first for P.E.I., according to Tanya Mullally, the provincial emergency management co-ordinator with PEI Emergency Measures Organization.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Wayne Thibodeau

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