Teen Fakes Own Kidnapping to Avoid Telling His Parents About a Bad Grade

booksSome kids would do anything to keep their report cards from their parents, but one 19-year-old college student took it to the extreme. Aftab Aslam, a freshman at Georgia Gwinnett College, was so afraid to tell his parents he was failing English, he faked his own kidnapping. Using a cellphone he'd purchased at Target, Aftab sent an anonymous text to his parents pretending to be his kidnappers. The cops were called, the FBI got involved, and 10 days later, Aftab had more problems than just that F in English.

He told authorities he'd been drugged, but eventually came clean and admitted that he camped out in a tent in a less-developed part of town, and when the weather turned bad, that's when he decided to head home.

And now he's in major trouble. He's turned himself in to the police and faces charges for three felony counts for false statements, tampering with evidence, and terroristic threats.

An F in school seems like child's play compared to that news.

Here's the thing -- while I think Aftab needs to pay for his mistakes (an FBI search doesn't come cheap, guys!), I can't help but feel a little sorry for him. Clearly his parents put an enormous amount of pressure on him to do well in school, and when he failed, he felt like he had to run. That's not good.

As parents, it's our job to encourage our children and push them to reach their potential in school, sports, art, etc., but we have to strike the balance of being ardent about success and approachable about failure. It's not easy to be the bad guy and the good guy all at the same time, but it's necessary.

The last thing we want to do is scare our kids into thinking the only solution is living in a tent for 10 days while the FBI searchers for their kidnappers.

How do you strike the balance?


Photo via Wonderlane/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Rach

This isn't a kid, this is a grown man and he should be punished like he's a grown man.

Serab... Serabelle

The headline is misleading, I was expecting this so be a minor. 19 is an adult, also 19 means you're old enough to take responsibility for your education, failure and success. He should absolutely be treated like any other adult that makes a false report. Not sure where the terrorist threats comes from though. There has been a lot of that lately. Don't understand how one kidnapping (false one) is considered terrorism, I think the word may be getting thrown around a bit loosely these days. I don't have all the facts though, so it may be justified. IMO, terroristic threats pertain to large groups of people (9-11/ Boston bombing) or threats to national safety (those guys in the Midwest recruiting for terrorist organization) not threats to one person (kidnapping). Again. I don't have all the facts, just what's in the blog, so I'm just confused where that charge comes from.

rose6572 rose6572

Agree with Serbelle - - misleading.  

He's an ADULT  in every sense of the law.  He should pay for all the expenses incurred.   Stupid. 

nonmember avatar Lesley

He's over 18, he's a legal adult. Therefor should be held accountable for his own actions, no matter how stupid and idiotic they were! I remember at the same age being afraid of my parents because I had a bad grade on my report card in college, but I had to suck it up and show it to 'em. There wasn't much I could do to change it or their reaction or response to it. I wasn't and am not perfect and neither is this young man.

Yep, he made a doozy of mistake with the "kidnap" routine. I'd say if it were one of my kids who did this, they'd have to work it off in duty to the court system somehow because I certainly wouldn't pay for it. JMHO.

mmtos... mmtosam06

Just wow I think I would have rather said I'm sorry I'm failing this class and need help rather than face charges

Jackie Turner

I think the parents must have been way to cridical of this kid.I don't care what the law is, 19 yrs is a kid.

Rachel Abraham

He must have been pretty affraid of his parents.  Sometime saying I'm sorry and I need help isn't possible.  If his parents could lead him to do something that crazy, he needs to cut them out of his life.

RitzC... RitzCrackerz

Why terroristic threats? I understand he needs to be punished but why that? Did he say he was going to kill a lot of people? Blow shit up? etc etc? He just faked his own kidnapping I don't see how that would be in any way related to a terroristic attack or threat. Can someone explain? 

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