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Teen Pranks Gone Wrong

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The consequences can land them in jail ... or could even be a matter of life or death.

This month, three seniors at a Brooklyn high school served homemade cake to their faculty, sending two teachers to the hospital, and sickening three more. Police discovered the sweet treat was laced with laxatives, and assault charges are now pending on the teens. Chalk it up to kids watching surprise-ending reality shows or classics like Punk'd ... but these days, pranks seem to be getting bolder--and a lot more dangerous.

• In 2006, Ian McConnell Walker, 18, and Joseph Robert Tellini, 18, delivered marijuana-laced muffins to their teachers, hospitalizing 19. Both boys faced five counts of assault on a public servant and were suspended from graduation ceremonies. Walker was denied his diploma.

• In 2002, a 17-year-old Midland boy nearly burned himself to death after he and his friends tried to imitate a "Human BBQ" stunt they had seen on MTV's Jackass. They were charged with aggravated assault.

• This year, Longview, Wash., teens rearranged a neighbor's Christmas display so it appeared the reindeer were breeding. When the elderly homeowner angrily confronted the kids, the stress of the event caused the man to collapse and die of cardiac arrest.

• A 16-year-old Icelandic boy figured out President Bush's private phone number and gave him a call. He identified himself as the president of Iceland and requested Bush return his call. When the Secret Service was informed, the police paid a visit to the teen, who wouldn't reveal how he obtained the phone number. However, authorities surmise the boy guessed the digits after watching a recent Ellen episode during which Jenna Bush called the president.

• In March, two Canadian teens, age 15 and 17, were hospitalized during a prank to set the ground on fire. After pouring gasoline on the ground behind a strip mall, the boys accidentally spilled the fluid on their clothes. When igniting the gasoline, their clothing caught fire, and even after jumping in the snow, both boys suffered first, second, and third-degree burns.

• In Florida, three teenagers died in a car accident hours after three other teens had removed a stop sign from a dangerous intersection. The vandals (two are pictured above) were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison. However, they later won an appeal and the verdict was overturned.

Teens pull pranks for the thrills, but most do not consider the consequences, which can even be deadly.

Have your kids ever pulled a dangerous stunt ... or did you pull one when you were a teen?

next: Robot Girlfriend Hits Stores
43 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lesley June 23, 2008, 9:38 AM

To me a prank is something that is funny, not life threatening!

I think it’s terrible that those teens who removed the stop sign got their verdict overturned. Where is the justice?

Anonymous June 23, 2008, 11:20 AM

When I was a kid, my friends and I also stole a stop sign. It was already knocked down but the thought that we could’ve harmed someone wasn’t even a consideration. It’s terrifying to think that I could’ve been in prison had something gone wrong and not living the life I have.

It’s stories like these we need to talk about with our kids.

Anonymous June 23, 2008, 1:59 PM

My brothers have stolen street signs, but not stop signs. Just the ones with the street names on them. They didnt see the harm in it, im sure it the county had to spit out money to replace them, but there was never any harm done. I still have one they got for my daughter, we lived on a street that had the same name.

Anonymous June 24, 2008, 2:28 PM

The thing is… these kids are in for the thrill of it, and can only see the hilarity in it, and not the dreadful consequences that can come from a “harmless” prank.

bill July 7, 2008, 12:43 PM

I agree that those kids should have gone to jail. What they did KILLED people. Hard to see that as a prank.

Brian July 22, 2008, 12:23 PM

I think they should do a special on Prime Time TV to show the consquences of prank. I use to do all kinds of crazy stuff as kid and never once thought, What If!

Rico August 27, 2008, 11:50 PM

damn the chick in the picture has some nice cleavage!!!!

Teehee April 22, 2009, 2:30 AM
Doris Mower May 26, 2009, 3:15 PM

Read this…it’s the saddest story I ever heard. Type in Tim Nix Memorial on your search engine. All because of a prank.

rugbymom May 26, 2009, 4:19 PM

This is sad, but it is unfortunately very common. I did really stupid things as a teenager and my Dad just scratched his head. He believed I was not a moron but I kept doing moronic things. I have heard some interesting things about studies on teenagers brains. Often they are not thinking about the consequences. They think about the humor but do not look at what may go wrong. This is something we are trained to do after a series of bad mistakes! I am certainly not looking forward to my girls being teenagers and can only hope they have more sense than I did.

tehlemming February 1, 2010, 1:29 AM

oye.. my pranks were never that bad :x

fav one…. mixed purple cool aid into all the girls towels (they all used the same school colored ones, and purple cool aid was invisible in it)

after getting out of the pool during our swim class… they were all dyed a dark purple color =)
freaking awesome

meiliken February 4, 2010, 4:58 AM

Sorry people, but bad as the prank of the stop sign seems, it is in no way manslaughter. It is vandalism. It is good that the verdict was overturned. The most they could be charged for is vandalism. The teens who were killed in the accident are partly at fault for not obeying natural road laws of stopping at an intersection. A sign is not required for that.

pewp February 14, 2010, 10:25 AM

I’m not sure why the boy calling ex-Prez Shrub was included in this list. Very clever and hilarious!

Euna Geschke November 27, 2010, 4:22 AM

I’ve trulyenjoyed reading your articles. You evidently are well-educated.

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for sharing! your special perspective on this.

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