Story Archive

Scare Tactics

A man knocked on the door of Bilal Abdul Mani’s Westlake, Ohio, home. Mani wasn’t there but his 14-year-old son let him in. A 911 call from the boy’s 16-year-old brother explained what happened next: “He started screaming,” the boy said, “saying that ‘you need to contact your father... he owes me $1500... he’s like if I start chopping up bodies in here, then I’m gonna be the bad guy, I just got outta jail two weeks ago.” The boys escaped through an upstairs window and ran next door to call police. It turns out, however, that the whole incident was staged by Mani. “I wanted to make sure that they did the right thing when I’m not at home,” he said. Police had a different view: “It was poorly cast, it was badly planned and the execution was worse,” said Westlake Police Capt. Guy Turner. Police commended the boys for their actions, but the case was referred to the city prosecutor for possible child endangering charges against Mani and his friend. “It amazes me that parents that sometimes when they try to do the right thing they’re the one that gets penalized,” Mani complained. (MS/WJW Cleveland) ...Mani can’t model “the right thing” by demonstrating “the dumb thing.”
Original Publication Date: 24 April 2016
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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