Ohio prosecutors mull charges in ice bucket prank
CLEVELAND (AP) — Prosecutors are reviewing evidence to determine if charges should be filed against five northeast Ohio teenagers accused of dumping urine and tobacco over the head of an autistic boy who thought he was participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge fundraiser.
The teenagers, ranging in age from 14 to 17, poured a bucket of the foul mix on a 15-year-old boy from a garage roof this summer in the Cleveland suburb of Bay Village, local police say.
The targeted teenager thought he was participating in the fundraiser in which people are challenged to donate to the ALS Association in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease or have ice water dumped on them, police say.
A spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office said prosecutors met with Bay Village police investigators for several hours Tuesday to discuss what charges might be filed in juvenile court against the five teens. All of the teens involved attend Bay Village High School.
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports that an attorney for one of the juveniles said the autistic teen and the other boys were friends who had been playing pranks on each other over the summer. He said the boys didn’t know the 15-year-old was diagnosed as autistic.
The boys’ behavior attracted national attention after the mother of the autistic teen found a video on her son’s cellphone and gave media outlets permission to make the video public.
Celebrities, including Drew Carey, a comedian and game show host who grew up in Cleveland, offered reward money to identify those involved. Police and school officials, however, said the boys were identified soon after they dumped the bucket on the teenager.
An attorney for the targeted teen and his family has said the boy was betrayed by a group of people he thought were his friends.