Police in the United States have arrested a 36-year-old man for licking and sticking his finger into an ice cream product before putting it back on the supermarket shelf at a grocery store. The man identified as Lenise Martin III had recorded the act and uploaded the clip on his Facebook account, according to a CNN report.
Louisiana police where Martin is based believed that he was inspired by a viral video originally uploaded on June 28, depicting a female individual licking a Blue Bell-labelled ice cream product in a supermarket. The woman then put the product that she tampered with back on the shelf.
“We believe it's a copycat incident. He did it and he did want to create some notoriety for himself by posting it on Facebook and that's exactly what he did,” police commander Lonny Cavalier said to CNN.
NOT AGAIN!! Another person accused of licking ice cream THIS TIME IN LOUISIANA, has been arrested. According to the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office, this guy licked the ice cream in a Belle Rose store. @WAFB— Scottie Hunter WAFB (@ScottieWAFB) July 7, 2019
READ MORE HERE>>> https://t.co/tjmhroh8ZL pic.twitter.com/dyDYbbwRIq
Martin who is currently under police custody claimed that he paid for the product that he messed with in the video. However, it may not be enough to absolve Martin of any wrongdoing.
“Taking into consideration that he eventually purchased the same container is one thing. However, he 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,” Cavalier added.
Social media users have seemingly dubbed the act as an “ice cream challenge”. Other copycat videos have also emerged showing users discreetly trying to tamper with an ice cream product in stores.
In a separate report by WAFB, a police spokesperson is warning others against doing the ice cream challenge. “We discourage anyone from copying this atrocious act. It is illegal. It’s a health risk to others. We will pursue anyone we see do this. You will be charged.”
The female individual in the original ice cream challenge clip has been identified by police as an underage teenager. Lufkin Police department said in a Facebook post that the suspect was questioned along with her adult boyfriend and has admitted to the act. The case will be handed over to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for further investigation.
Some social media users are putting their own positive spin to the challenge by taking an ice cream product from the shelf and then placing it into their grocery cart for purchase.