Update on the man whose kidnapping was captured on TV

By Amira Hairston

One attempt to save someone from the lockup for breaking Baltimore’s first general curfew Tuesday went terribly awry.

The world watched as Joseph Kent was swooped up into a military style Humvee a half hour after the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew went into effect. It was videotaped and aired on CNN, which identified him as a Morgan State University student and indicated he had been “kidnapped.”

The headline in an online British newspaper, The Independent, asked, “Where is Joseph Kent?” He was one of 35 people arrested for curfew violations Tuesday.

His arrest set off alarms throughout the campus, reaching all the way to the university president’s office.

Morgan President David Wilson posted to his Facebook page at approximately 6 a.m. Tuesday that he would contact the mayor and the governor to find out where Kent was and secure his release. He told his Facebook followers, many of whom are Morgan alumni, “Please stay calm!”

His message immediately energized university supporters who reposted Wilson concerns many times over.

However, by late afternoon Clint Coleman, the university spokesman said, “He is not a student and never was a student.” Coleman added, “The president clearly was listening to what students were saying on social media.”

After Wilson removed his first posting he told The Spokesman, “The newspaper article was originally tagged to my Facebook page and the headline indicated he was a Morgan student and that no one knew his whereabouts was alarming.” Wilson said, “I subsequently learned that this young man was not a student at Morgan. So I posted that information in an effort to correct the record.”

Kent was an intern in a Morgan business program for about six months last year, Coleman said.

Shortly before 9 p.m., CNN reported that a lawyer representing Kent said he was being detained at the Department of Corrections Central Booking facility but had not been arraigned.

 

Photo Credit: CNN                      

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