SACRAMENTO, California (WPVI) -- The California Highway Patrol is using an incident that prompted a huge police response as a teachable moment.
A child was seen holding up a sign in the backseat of a car in Sacramento on Saturday.
The sign read, "Help me, she's not my mom. Help!"
Callers flood 911 to report the apparent abduction.
Within minutes, several officers and K9 responded, conducting what they called a high risk stop to free the child.
As it turned out, the driver was the girl's mom.
She was unaware of what her daughter was doing in the backseat.
As for the child, she told police it was a prank that she thought would be funny.
Police, however, did not find it funny. They posted to Facebook reminding parents to always be aware of what their children are doing.
Some called that mom shaming, and an unfair critique of parents who are trying to drive safely, without distraction.
Everyone agreed, however, that the teen should be punished, and not just by mom.
Fake abduction warning prompts huge police response in Sacramento