Teens Pull COVID-19 Prank at Walmart, Face Charges of Terrorism
They were "fake sneezing" on people in Walmart for the sake of social media likes.
Anxiety and stress have never been higher due to the coronavirus pandemic. So you would think people would know that now might not be the right time to pull a prank for social media. But two teenagers in West Virginia thought differently. The pair pulled a poorly thought out COVID-19 prank on unsuspecting Walmart shoppers by "fake sneezing" on people using a spray bottle, then capturing their reactions on their phones to share for likes on social media. And as a result, they're now potentially facing terrorism charges.
The events took place at a Walmart in Nitro, West Virginia. "The whole world is in a panic right now with COVID-19, and we got two juveniles from St. Albans come over here scaring people to death," Nitro Police Chief Bob Eggleton told the local NBC News affiliate. According to Eggleton, the teens were "walking up to people, walking behind them, coughing, spraying them with a bottle, which had nothing more in it than water, and saying they had COVID-19."
Because the teens are under 18, they would typically be tried as juveniles and, as a result, receive a much lighter punishment. But the Nitro Police Department is reportedly working with the prosecutor's office to charge the teens with terroristic threatening, which is a felony in the state of West Virginia.
"The minimum they could get is battery, but we are looking at a more serious charge than that," Eggleton said. The police chief added that he didn't know why these teens thought what they did was humorous or why they wanted to share it on the internet.
For more, watch the local news report below: