With the explosion of apps like TikTok has come a surge of prankster videos.
But while some might be funny, others could be deadly.
Take Tanner Cook, 21, who is a YouTube “influencer” known for recording pranks at shopping malls.
His father said Cook was filming a prank at the Dulles Town Center Mall in Sterling, Virginia, last month that involved Google’s translate feature, Fox 29 reported. Cook posts videos on Classified Goons, which has more than 50,000 subscribers.
“He has a YouTube channel, and he goes to malls, and he tries to have fun and do goofy stuff and try to get people to laugh to watch his videos,” dad Jeremy Cook said. “This guy wasn’t laughing. He wasn’t having a fun time, and decided to shoot my son because he was offended. It’s too bad people today seem to take getting offended too far.”
That unamused guy was Alan Colie, 31. He reportedly was offended and shot Cook in the stomach.
He faces several felony charges, including aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and discharging a firearm within a building.
Cook told WUSA9 that Colie didn’t say anything, just pulled out a gun and shot him. “I was just playing a prank, a simple practical joke, and this guy didn’t take it very well and shot me.”
But Colie’s lawyer Adam Pouilliard said Cook “antagonized” his client, WUSA9 reported. Colie was “targeted, harassed, accosted, and followed” by Cook at the mall. “The nature of the prank involved Cook using Google Translate to play the phrase ‘I think you smell.’”
“Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Anthony Needham said Colie told Cook to ‘leave him alone’ and even swatted the phone out of his face, but Cook was ‘as close as six inches away’” when Colie allegedly pulled his gun.
Meanwhile, Isaiah Collazo, 18, of Staten Island was aboard a train in New York City when his friend jokingly pulled the emergency brake on the rail car for a video, according to police.
Mark Smith, 25, was not amused. He’s been charged with stabbing the teen in the stomach. Collazo later died.
“So what we have is Collazo and his friends, they’re on the platform,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig told the New York Post. “They finally get on a train as it pulls in about a quarter after 11.”
“His friend pulls the thing. This guy confronts him, ‘What the hell did you do that for?’” Essig said of the brake “prank.” “There’s sort of a scrum, pulls out a knife, hits him, stabs him.”
“It’s a stupid kid prank,” Essig said of the incident.
Then there was Timothy Wilks, 20, of Nashville. He died after he was shot during what his friend told police was supposed to be a YouTube prank robbery.
Police said Wilks and a friend approached a group of people, including David Starnes Jr., 23, wielding butcher knives. Starnes admitted to police that he shot Wilks but he said he did so because he thought he and his friends were in danger, according to Buzzfeed News.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.