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A group of Ohio bullies may be facing criminal charges after pulling a vile prank on an autistic teenager under the guise of taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The bullies allegedly convinced the 15-year-old boy to strip down to his underwear to take the challenge in which a bucket of ice is dumped on a person's head. But instead of using ice, the bullies doused the boy with a bucket full of feces, urine, and cigarette butts, reports the New York Daily News. The entire incident was captured on video on the boy's cell phone, and was also posted to Instagram.
Police say they are working to identify the teens responsible for the humiliating prank. What charges could these bullies potentially face, if caught?
Assault and Battery
Although laws vary by state, assault and battery are usually charged in the event of a harmful or offensive contact made or threatened against another person. Assault is typically threatened or attempted harmful or offensive contact with a person, while battery is generally reserved for instances where an actual harmful or offensive contact occurs.
In this case, the bullies dumped a bucket full of bodily fluids onto a boy, which would likely constitute criminal battery. Although the boy did initially consent to taking part in what he thought was the Ice Bucket Challenge, by switching out the contents of the bucket, the bullies exceeded the scope of any consent that the boy may have granted them.
Ice Bucket Challenges May Lead to Injuries, Lawsuits
The Ice Bucket Challenge was started as a way to raise funds and awareness for research into the disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. However, after videos of the challenge became wildly popular online, there have been a number of unfortunate incidents linked to the challenge in which participants have been injured, including at least one death, according to the Daily News.
In addition to possible criminal charges against Ice Bucket pranksters, victims of unexpected or unwanted Ice Bucket Challenges may have grounds for a civil lawsuit for injuries sustained, as well as the embarrassment caused by posting video of the incident on the Internet.
And because the pranksters in the Ohio case are believed to be students, they will likely face school discipline as well, Fox News reports.