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GGC student's faked kidnapping a national story

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Now everybody knows he was flunking English.

Georgia Gwinnett College student Aftab Aslam, 19, was arrested last week by Johns Creek police for allegedly faking his own kidnapping. He told authorities he did so because he was afraid to tell his parents he was failing his English class for the second time.

Now that's the least of his worries.

Nine felony charges aside, Aslam's story has become a national one, showing up everywhere from USA Today, Gawker.com and late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel's Tuesday night monologue.

"This sounds like a terrible Liam Neeson movie but it's true," Kimmel said. "The kid camped out for about a week and then came home when it started raining ... I guess he failed his fake-your-own-kidnapping class too."

According to Johns Creek police spokesman Doug Nurse, Aslam was reported missing at around 10 a.m. on April 27 after his parents received a text message saying he "had been kidnapped and warning them not to call the police or their son would be killed." (Investigators later determined Aslam had bought the phone himself from a local Target store.)

After being "missing" for eight days, Aslam reportedly returned home, initially telling police he had been drugged and kept prisoner. Nurse said Aslam eventually revealed the real, school-related reasoning behind his actions and told authorities where he had actually been.

"He tent-camped in an undeveloped area of Forsyth County until the weather turned cold and rainy," Nurse said.

The teen is now facing a bevy of criminal charges: one misdemeanor count of false report of a crime and three felony counts apiece of false statements, tampering with evidence and terroristic threats.