One Ohio teenager let clout cloud his judgment.
A 17-year-old from Cleveland Heights and three of his friends were arrested for allegedly staging his mother's robbery for YouTube views. Police tell the local Fox affiliate that the teen's friends allegedly confronted his mother while she was in her driveway. The group was wearing ski masks and pointing a pistol that was reportedly an airsoft gun at the woman. They forced the 40-year-old into her home where they ordered her to the ground and demanded that she hand over her money. At this point, her son came out and pretended to fight off the fake thieves.
During the kayfabe scuffle, the woman escaped from the scene. The teenagers were unable to find her, forcing them to call the authorities. While talking to the police, the son revealed that the prank was for YouTube Live views and that the camera was still running as he was talking to them.
"I just did a fake robbery prank on my mom and she ran. I know she called the police. She’s nowhere to be found," the son told dispatchers per Fox. "[S]he thought it was for real. Like when I got to wrestling my friends for fake, she ran out of the house. ... I do YouTube. It was on YouTube, so I did a YouTube prank. ... It’s still live right now."
At the same time the teenager was making this call, a neighbor was on the phone with the authorities. His mother had run to their home to hide from the robbers and ask for help.
"I've got a lady that knocked on my door and she's hiding on my porch like someone was chasing her or something, and she said 'hurry, hurry', she's kind of mouthing out the word 'hurry,'" the neighbor told dispatchers. "I didn't open the door and let her in because I don't know what's going on, but she sees me on the phone right now calling you guys and I think she was in danger out here."
The 17-year-old and one of his alleged accomplices are facing juvenile charges. Yet 19-year-old Isaiah Welch and 18-year-old Jeramy Perry are looking at several charges for their roles in the incident, including inducing panic. Police seized the cell phone the son used to stage the robbery as well as the airsoft pistol.