Skip to main content

Cops identify people behind ice bucket prank on autistic teen

By Holly Yan and Marlena Baldacci, CNN
updated 2:58 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
  • Police are not yet releasing the names of those involved
  • Someone dumped urine and feces from a rooftop onto an autistic teen's head
  • Mother: He didn't know what the contents were until afterward
  • Cleveland native Drew Carey first offered $10,000 to find those responsible

(CNN) -- Police have identified those involved in an incident in which the ice bucket challenge trend was used to trick an autistic teenager into being drenched with a bucket of urine, feces and spit.

Authorities are not yet releasing the names, and are not discussing potential charges as the investigation is not yet complete, said Bay Village, Ohio, Police Chief Mark Spaetzel.

"We are conducting a comprehensive investigation," Spaetzel told CNN Tuesday.

Three celebrities have offered a reward to find those responsible.

Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg joined Drew Carey on Sunday in offering $10,000 each.

< >

Bay Village is a suburb of Cleveland, Carey's hometown and the city where "The Drew Carey Show" was based.

A video of the prank shows the teen standing outside a garage door in his underwear when someone from the rooftop dumps a bucket of murky brown fluid over his head.

The 15-year-old boy's mother told CNN affiliate WJW-TV in Cleveland that the video was discovered on her son's cell phone.

"He was embarrassed because he did not know what the contents were until afterwards, and then he didn't want anybody to know," the mother told the station. "They used his phone to tape it, and they put it up on Instagram."

Drew Carey offered to donate $10,000 as a reward to find who was responsible for a prank on an autistic teenager.
Drew Carey offered to donate $10,000 as a reward to find who was responsible for a prank on an autistic teenager.

The stunt appears to be a spoof of the ALS ice bucket challenge in which participants get a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads. The campaign raises awareness and donations for research on Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. According to the ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $110 million.

The Bay Village police said it has been interviewing witnesses and trying to identify those involved.

"Preliminary information suggests this occurred prior to the start of the school year at a home in Bay Village," the department said.

"We understand the collective community anger. It is the hope of our community that this anger will be channeled into a positive action and supporting organizations such as Autism Speaks."

The Bay Village Schools superintendent said the school district is "heartsick over the cruel actions taken against one of our students."

"Many of our students and staff members have been participating in fundraising for ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge," Superintendent Clint Keener wrote. "It hurts us deeply to see such a wonderful effort twisted to deliberately cause someone pain."

Part of complete coverage on
Ice bucket challenge
updated 10:48 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Let's face it -- it doesn't take much to convince us to do ridiculous things, document them and share them on the Internet.
Ice water is starting to drench the political scene.
Former President George W. Bush took the ice bucket challenge, and is now challenging his predecessor in the White House to follow in his footsteps.
updated 10:56 PM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
At this point are there any celebrities left who have not done the Ice Bucket Challenge?
updated 9:37 PM EDT, Sun August 17, 2014
A friend of the man who inspired the viral "Ice Bucket Challenge" died this weekend in a diving accident.
updated 3:19 PM EDT, Thu October 9, 2014
Ouch! Bopped, socked, and SOAKING WET! CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on ice bucket challenges gone wrong.
updated 5:46 PM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Top tech CEOs are taking the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise awareness for ALS... and Richard Quest joins the fun.
updated 4:45 AM EDT, Tue August 12, 2014
Celebrities and sports stars are raising money for ALS by taking the "ice bucket challenge." Affiliate WCVB has more.