Teens behind ice bucket prank on autistic teen charged
(CNN) — Five Ohio teens who humiliated their autistic classmate by dumping a bucket of urine, tobacco spit and water on him in an “ice bucket challenge” prank — and then posted the act to Instagram — now face charges, authorities said.
Three of the five juveniles were charged Tuesday with two counts of delinquency, and assault and disorderly conduct.
The other two were each charged with a single count of disorderly conduct.
They range in age from 14 to 16, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office said.
The incident took place August 18 in Bay Village, a suburb of Cleveland.
A video of the prank shows the teen standing outside a garage door in his underwear when someone from the rooftop dumps a bucket of murky brown fluid over his head.
“The victim and the five charged juveniles were and are friends and classmates. They regularly associate with one another and, at times, engage in distasteful and sophomoric pranks,” prosecutor Duane Deskins said.
“However, this incident is clearly different. It crossed a moral and legal line, and even the five alleged perpetrators understand that and have expressed regret.”
The 15-year-old boy’s mother told CNN affiliate WJW-TV in Cleveland that the video was discovered on her son’s cell phone.
Police learned of the incident September 3.
“He was embarrassed because he did not know what the contents were until afterwards, and then he didn’t want anybody to know,” the mother told the station. “They used his phone to tape it, and they put it up on Instagram.”
The stunt appears to be a spoof of the ALS ice bucket challenge in which participants get a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads. The campaign raises awareness and donations for research on Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. According to the ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $110 million.
Holly Yan and Marlena Baldacci contributed to this report.
By Kevin Conlon