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North Carolina 'kidnapping prankster' says he doesn't try to hurt anyone

A mother who said a stranger grabbed her child in a neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina, is extremely upset about what turned out to be a prank.

>> Read more trending news

The man behind that prank, Sandino Davis, said it's worth the risk of getting hurt or possibly killed to pull those jokes on the streets of Charlotte.

>>MORE: Family traumatized after 'kidnapping prank' in North Carolina

"It's a prank,” Davis said.

Davis' prank wasn't funny to the child’s mother.

"The kidnap test,” Davis said, describing the prank.

Davis showed the video of him grabbing a boy and walking off with him.

Shelly Clark, the boy's mother, said a family was taking up most of the sidewalk, so she and her family had to go around them in a single-file line.

They were passing Davis when Clark noticed Davis pick up his cellphone and start recording what seemed like a video for Facebook Live. She said her children were behind her, to get around him and to avoid getting in his shot.

Then, she heard Davis say something that caused her to turn back around.

"I hear the word 'kidnapped' and, as I turn, when I hear the word ‘kidnapped,’ I see him grab my son in a bear hug and he literally starts running down the street," Clark said. "My daughter is then running after him, holding onto my son's leg and trying to beat on the guy."

Clark started running after them as well.

"When I reach him, he drops my son on the ground and he crouches down to the ground and he says, 'Ma'am, ma'am, this is a kidnap pranking. I'm pranking you.'"

In the video, the boy's sister immediately grabs Davis, and Clark is seen walking up, wearing a yellow shirt.

“It's unfortunate he's out there doing this stuff,” Clark said.

WSOC-TV asked Davis if there was anything he’d like to say to Clark.

"What I told her before. I'm sorry. It's nothing but a prank,” Davis said.

Davis has recorded many more pranks around Charlotte, including one in which he's seen putting a man in a headlock, another in which he grabs a man's hat and another where he tries to touch a passenger on the light rail.

WSOC-TV asked what would happen if someone pulled a gun on him.

"I don't do pranks like that. I don't do no pranks like that,” Davis said.

Last month, a warrant for Davis was filed on suspicion of disorderly conduct at a Charlotte-Area Transit System terminal and harassing passengers.

The warrant said he took items from patrons, pushed them and threw things at them in his videos.

Davis said he doesn't try to hurt anyone in his pranks.

"It's all for camera, for pranks,” Davis said.

Davis is a father, which is one of the reasons Clark has decided not to press charges, but she worries his pranks could end badly one day.

Davis said he would do another kidnap prank video, but it would be staged.

Davis isn't being investigated for the prank in NoDa, but he's still facing charges, accused of harassing CATS passengers in 13 other prank videos.

Study: Sleep deprivation can make you feel lonely, socially distant

If your social life is suffering, poor sleep could be to blame, according to a new report

>> Read more trending news

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley recently conducted a study, published in the journal Nature Communications, to determine the link between sleep-deprived people and feelings of loneliness. 

To do so, they used brain imaging and surveys on loneliness to examine the social and neural responses of 18 young adults after a good night’s sleep and after a sleepless night. 

The participants then watched video clips of individuals, with neutral expressions, walking toward them. When the person got too close, the subjects pushed a stop button, which recorded how close they allowed the person to get.

After analyzing the results, the scientists found the sleep-deprived group wanted greater distance compared to the rested group. When the scientists evaluated the brain images, which were captured during the video experiment, they saw heightened activity in a neural circuit known as the “near space network,” which is activated when a person feels threatened.

“It’s perhaps no coincidence that the past few decades have seen a marked increase in loneliness and an equally dramatic decrease in sleep duration,” lead author Eti Ben Simon said in a statement. “Without sufficient sleep we become a social turnoff, and loneliness soon kicks in.”

For the second part of the trial, more than 1,000 observers viewed videotapes of study participants discussing day-to-day activities. The spectators, who did not know the subjects were sleep-deprived, rated them as “lonelier and less socially desirable,” the authors wrote.

“The less sleep you get, the less you want to socially interact. In turn, other people perceive you as more socially repulsive, further increasing the grave social-isolation impact of sleep loss,” senior author Matthew Walker said. “That vicious cycle may be a significant contributing factor to the public health crisis that is loneliness.”

Furthermore, the researchers administered a survey to test whether “sleep-loss-induced alienation” is contagious. They found that healthy observers felt alienated after viewing just a 60-second clip of a lonely person. 

“This all bodes well if you sleep the necessary seven to nine hours a night, but not so well if you continue to shortchange your sleep,” Walker said. “On a positive note, just one night of good sleep makes you feel more outgoing and socially confident, and furthermore, will attract others to you.” 

What You Need To Know: Madonna

What You Need To Know: Madonna

Unsafe amounts of weed killer chemical found in some oat-based food, report finds

Oatmeal and some other popular oat-based breakfast foods, including granola bars, may contain unsafe amounts of weed killer, according to a report

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy, conducted a study on 29 oat-based foods. 

It found that all but five contained what is called potentially dangerous amounts of the main ingredient in Roundup, a weed-killing product. 

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. And the World Health Organization said it can cause cancer. 

Last week, a jury at the Superior Court of California awarded $289 million in damages to a groundskeeper whose attorney argued that Roundup caused his terminal cancer.

According to the study, the chemical was detected in popular children’s breakfast cereals – including Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats. 

According to The American Council of Science and Health, the EWG has come under fire in the past for their methodology and for “overstating” risks of some chemicals.

To view the full study, click here

Police: Texas man posed as Amazon delivery worker, took ex-girlfriend hostage

A Texas man is accused of posing as an Amazon delivery worker in order to take his ex-girlfriend hostage, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

Thomas Hill, 31, is accused of using Amazon packages to block his face as a ruse to force his way into his ex-girlfriend's home on Aug. 6, KXAN reported. Hill allegedly held his girlfriend hostage until Aug. 9, when the woman's home security company alerted police.

Hill's former girlfriend told police that the pair ended their relationship about four months ago and that Hill was mentally unstable. The former girlfriend said she had a protective order against Hill.

When Hill barged into the home, he brandished a gun, according to the arrest affidavit. The ex-girlfriend felt it necessary to go along with his commands, because he threatened her and her daughter and physically assaulted her when she didn't obey, KXAN reported. An opportunity to get help arose Aug. 9 when Hill left the home to get groceries. She was able to alert her home security company, who in turn alerted authorities. 

Police arrested Hill, who has been charged with aggravated kidnapping, burglary and assault, along with violation of a protective order, according to the Williamson County Jail records.

Former CIA Director John Brennan: ‘I will not relent’

Shortly after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that President Donald Trump is revoking John Brennan’s security clearance, the former CIA director replied on Twitter: 

“This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.”

>>MORE: Trump revoking former CIA director John Brennan's security clearance

Brennan later appeared in an MSNBC interview discussing the announcement.

"I think Mr. Trump is getting more and more concerned, more and more desperate and I would say more and more frightened, as there is closer and closer magnification of some of the things that those around him have been involved in. So I do think it's important that I continue to speak out," Brennan told MSNBC.

The announcement came weeks after Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump was looking into the process required to revoke security clearances from half a dozen former Obama administration officials. 

Rascal Flatts Fast Facts

Rascal Flatts Fast Facts

Person bitten by shark off Cape Cod

A person was bitten by a shark off Cape Cod, sources tell Boston 25 News.

>> Read more trending news 

The harbormaster said that a Medflight has been called to take the victim to Tufts Medical Center.

Crews are now out looking for the shark.

The victim reportedly has "deep puncture wounds."

Truro police are handling the investigation. 

This is a developing story. Check Boston25News.com for updates. 

1 dead in fatal industrial accident near Walt Disney World employee area

61-year-old man has died after an industrial accident near a Walt Disney World employee area, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

>> Read more trending news 

According to deputies, two employees were emptying oil and grease byproduct from a semitrailer into a vat at the Harvest Power energy facility in Reedy Creek near Western Way just after midnight Wednesday morning. The facility is near Cast Connection and Property Control, not far from Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Deputies said one of the employees, a 61-year-old man, was standing on a grate when he slipped and fell into the vat.

The other man tried to pull the victim from the vat but was not able to help, deputies said.

According to deputies, fumes from the byproduct overwhelmed the victim and he slipped further into the vat.

Reedy Creek Fire assisted with the recovery of the man.

Deputies have not released any names.

Harvest Power released a statement that read, "This was a tragic accident. We are all deeply saddened by the loss of this co-worker. We are in shock and grief and figuring out what happened." 

‘John Doe’ buried in Georgia ID’ed by DNA as Michigan teen missing 39 years

Forensic experts on Tuesday identified a body buried in Georgia for nearly 40 years as a 15-year-old Michigan boy who was reported missing in 1979.

Andrew Jackson Greer Jr., of Clayton, vanished Feb. 12, 1979, after leaving Addison High School and failing to return home. Michigan State Police officials said in a news release that the cold case was reopened in 2014 with the help of new technology and resources. 

“A forensic analyst from the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas today confirmed that DNA from a ‘John Doe,’ who was buried in a pauper’s grave in Macon, Ga., in 1979, matches Greer’s DNA,” officials said in the release.

The positive identification came just three days after what would have been Greer’s 55th birthday. 

The Daily Telegram in Adrian, Michigan, reported that Greer, who apparently ran away from home after getting in trouble at school, was hitchhiking through Georgia two days after his disappearance when he was struck by a semi truck along Interstate 75 near Macon. 

The teen, who reportedly had only candy bars and taffy on him when he died, was trying to cross the interstate when he was struck, the Telegram reported. Another truck driver told investigators in Georgia that he’d given the hitchhiker a ride in the Atlanta area. 

Michigan State Police Detective Larry Rothman told the Telegram that the teen told the driver he was traveling to Key West, Florida, to visit relatives. Greer had family living there at the time. 

The boy even gave the truck driver a name before they parted: Drew Greer. 

The details of the Georgia investigation never made it to Michigan at the time, and the unidentified young man was eventually buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

>> Read more trending news

Another investigation in 2000 failed to turn up information on Greer’s whereabouts, Michigan State Police officials said. The cold case was reopened in 2014, at the urging of Greer’s family, with the hope that new technology could help find the missing teen. 

Anthony Strickland, a retired Bibb County deputy who, as a young officer, had seen Greer buried in an unmarked grave in April 1979, took a look at the case in 2017 and linked it to Greer’s disappearance, the Telegram reported

He compared notes with Rothman, and their information fit, the newspaper reported. Rothman traveled to Georgia and the long-buried body was exhumed. 

“A DNA sample was taken from ‘John Doe’ at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and sent to the Center for Human Identification for comparison,” the troopers news release said. “The results concluded that it was 1.9 trillion times more likely that the DNA from ‘John Doe’ was that of Greer than not. Together, the DNA results and police reports conclude they are one in the same.”

Greer’s half brother, John Bowman, told the Telegram that he believed authorities had found his brother in February, when the remains were exhumed. 

“I felt confident when we got the news in February about what they found then that it was him,” Bowman told the newspaper. 

Bowman, who was just 4 years old when his older half brother vanished, told The Detroit News the family plans to have Greer’s remains cremated and returned to Michigan, where they will hold a memorial service. 

Unfortunately, the brothers’ mother died last year never knowing what happened to her son. 

“It was my trying to help my mom find that answer that led us to this place,” Bowman told the News. “Hopefully, she knows the truth today.”

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