A horrible prank using the ice bucket challenge has people outraged in Bay Village, Ohio. Video of the prank surfaced earlier this week showing a 14-year-old with autism standing in a driveway preparing to take the challenge. Then things took a disgusting turn. From The Chronicle Telegram:
Bay Village police chief Mark Spaetzel said video of the prank is one of the most disturbing things he’s seen in his career, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.
“To me, it’s reprehensible … that these kids would take advantage of a vulnerable teenager,” he said.
WJW-TV in Cleveland reported this week that the autistic teen’s mother discovered the video on his cellphone. She said her son was tricked into having feces, urine and spit dumped on him when other kids told him it was part of the popular fundraiser. She said he was embarrassed and didn’t want to tell anyone afterward.
The identity of the teens behind the prank has not bee revealed at this point, but police and school officials have pledged to find and punish those involved. They also have a strong ally on the celebrity front in Cleveland native Drew Carey:
Carey said that if the police want to start a reward fund to find the people who organized the prank, he would donate $10,000 to it.
Carey, a Cleveland native, followed up by saying if police found the pranksters without a reward, he would donate to Autism Speaks. (via)
Aside from the threats of punishment and pledges for rewards, the Bay Village community has come together to show support for the teen via a rally on Friday night:
Friday night’s rally, where people chanted “No Hate in Bay” and “No room for hate,” was organized by Bay High graduate Elizabeth Sweeney and her sister, Sarah Sweeney.
“We wanted something positive to come out of a horrible act,” said Elizabeth Sweeney. “We got an overwhelming response from everyone.”
Amy Helgeson, executive director at the area office of Autism Speaks, said it was heartwarming to see so many people come out in support of the teenager. The organization was passing out informational pamphlets at the rally. (via)
Hard to believe this sort of incident would even happen, but it’s certainly not an isolated incident. Saying “teens will be teens” is probably an easy way out, but there’s got to be something more behind why someone would pull such a prank. I guess it was only a matter of time before the ice bucket challenge came to this though.