The PJ Tatler

How Do You Even...? Man Faked Kidnapping by Tying Himself to Tree


According to police, an Akron, Ohio, man faked his own kidnapping, claiming he was abducted and tied to a tree for three days. Clarence Taylor, 44, has been charged with falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor. Police say they believe he tied himself to the tree. 

According to

Taylor’s 45-year-old girlfriend reported to police on Nov. 1 that Taylor had been missing for five days.

A friend of Taylor’s called the girlfriend as she spoke with investigators and said that Taylor had been located bound to a tree with zip ties in a wooded area near Stoner Street and Pickford Avenue.

The friend led police to where Taylor was tied. He had duct tape on his mouth and was still tied to the tree, according to police reports. Police cut him down and took him to Akron General Medical Center.

Taylor told police that he was walking on Beechwood Drive when three men with shotguns abducted him and forced him into a van. He said they stole $2,500 from him and tied him to the tree, where they left him for several days.

Police say that Taylor had no visible injuries, despite his claims of being in the cold and rain for several days, and he was not dehydrated. When investigators subpoenaed his medical records from his hospital stay, they found that his condition was not consistent with his story about being abducted and tied to a tree.

Some parts of this story just don’t add up. First, is it even possible for someone to tie himself to a tree with zip ties? Second, why didn’t the friend who called Taylor’s girlfriend to report his whereabouts untie him? Why wait for police to arrive?

Was Taylor hoping for a GoFundMe campaign to replace the money he said was “stolen” from him? Or was there another motive? Police say they don’t know — and he’s still at large with a warrant for his arrest.

Get out your Encyclopedia Brown spyglasses and tell me what you think happened.