WADENA, Minn. — A story about a Wadena, Minn., man who rescued children he felt were about to be abducted, shared by hundreds on Facebook, was a hoax, according to authorities.

The post, which was removed just before 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, claimed that a man named Josh Johnson watched as another man handed a little girl candy and started to lead her to his car before Johnson rushed to the scene with his handgun drawn to stop the man.

Wadena police officers said they were never notified of the incident, which was an immediate red flag for them.

Wadena Police Sgt. Brandon Pearson said they contacted the individual who posted the story and he told them it was a fabrication. He “explained that he was only trying to raise awareness. He apologized for the panic he caused.”

“He didn’t think about the ramifications of coming up with an elaborate story like this,” Pearson said.

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The Wadena Police Department released a statement saying “ We will be submitting this report to our prosecuting attorney's office for review of charges against the individual who originally posted this fictitious incident.”