The five teens who dumped a bucket full of tobacco spit and urine on an autistic boy in August have been criminally charged in juvenile court.
The teens tricked the boy into thinking that he was partaking of the famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead of dumping ice water on the boy, they dumped bodily fluids on him.
Footage of the incident was captured on the boy’s cellphone. It was posted online and went viral.
In the video, the 15-year-old is shown standing in front of a garage wearing only his underwear. Then, he is drenched with the contents of a bucket containing not only human waste, but cigarette butts as well.
The video sparked nearly universal outrage online.
Last month, police became involved in the incident. An online petition was circulated that urged the Cuyahoga County, Ohio prosecutor’s office to take formal action against the bullies. That petition has more than 360,000 signatures as of this writing.
Celebrity Drew Carey also got involved after hearing about what happened. He offered a $10,000 bounty to anyone who could provide information leading to the identity of the perpetrators.
The special-needs teen “felt humiliated” after falling for the prank, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The teens who have been charged range in age from 14 to 16. Three of them have been charged with delinquency, disorderly conduct, and assault. Two of them face charges only for disorderly conduct.
“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,” said First Assistant County Prosecutor Duane Deskins, who heads the office’s Juvenile Division. “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 ALS Ice Bucket challenge itself went viral on social media this past summer. It was a means of raising money to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease.