Another viral challenge has led to an arrest and criminal charges. In this case, the challenge had to do with contamination of consumer goods. In Port Arthur, Texas, 24-year-old D’Adrien L’Quinn Anderson has pleaded guilty to criminal mischief. His crime? Licking a half-gallon of Blue Bell ice cream before placing back on a store shelf.
CNN reports that Anderson filmed himself licking the ice cream and posted the footage online last August. Anderson told the outlet’s San Antonio affiliate that he did it in order to gain viral fame.
A Stomach-Churning Viral Challenge
The incident is the latest in a string of social media-inspired food contaminations. The trend originated last summer, when a video of an unidentified teenage girl licking a carton of Blue Bell ice cream went viral, according to Yahoo.
Police say that had the suspect not been a minor, she would have faced up to 20 years in prison, according to CBS News.
In the video’s wake followed many more: in Lousiana, 36-year-old Lenise Martin III posted video to Facebook of himself licking and poking an ice cream carton before putting it back on the shelf, reports CNN.
Martin later showed police a receipt for the ice cream indicating he ultimately purchased it. However, police said this did not absolve Martin of wrongdoing.
“[H]e puts it on Facebook to gain this notoriety and at the end of the day, it gives other people ideas that are not the best interest of public health,” Assumption Parish Sherriff’s Commander Lonny Cavalier told CNN.
The stunt earned Martin charges of unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity, as well as criminal mischief.
Like Martin, Anderson claimed to police that he ended up buying the ice cream carton he licked. However, the court ruled that, since the creamery company replaced the inventory after seeing the video, the act was still costly. In addition to 30 days in jail, Anderson will pay a $1,000 fine, plus restitution of $1,565 to Blue Bell Creameries, per CNN.
“He is just a copycat,” District Attorney Bob Wortham told CNN’s San Antonio affiliate. “And the way to stop copycats is to enforce it very strongly.”
Meanwhile, CNN reported that the Blue Bell company was “pleased to see this matter been resolved.” The creamery added, “Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products.”
Ice Cream Challenge Charges — Sources:
CNN – “A man filmed licking a tub of ice cream will spend 30 days in jail and pay restitution to Blue Bell”
CNN – “Another person was caught on camera licking ice cream in a store, police say”