A supermarket prank called “gallon smashing” that went viral on YouTube apparently has spawned at least one Omaha copycat.
The prank involves someone who purposely smashes two milk jugs in a grocery store aisle and then falls to the floor and keeps slipping as passersby try to help the prankster up. One such incident in Virginia was posted on YouTube and has more than 3 million hits.
The video has spurred many copycat postings on YouTube, and young people in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Montana are facing charges of criminal mischief and destruction of property.
In Omaha, gallon smashing was reported Sunday at the Hy-Vee at 714 N. 132nd St. According to a police report, Christian A. Cain of Omaha was cited at the store for misdemeanor criminal mischief, causing damage between $200 and $500.
An officer called to investigate the incident said Cain told him: “Obviously, I did do it on purpose.”
If convicted, the 21-year-old could be sentenced to six months in jail and fined $1,000.
A clerk, who told police that the store is aware of recent gallon smashing pranks, became suspicious of Cain and three friends as they walked through the store about 5:15 p.m. The clerk noted that Cain was carrying two gallons of milk and one friend was holding a cell phone.
After temporarily losing sight of the group, the clerk arrived in the cereal aisle to find Cain on the floor in a large puddle of spilled milk. Cain was detained by supermarket personnel; his friends fled.
The store reported that the incident caused damage to $258.48 worth of items, including two gallons of milk, 27 boxes of cereal, 65 boxes of Pop-Tarts and a box of food coloring.
Officials at Hy-Vee declined to comment on the incident. Cain was not immediately available for comment, according to a relative who answered his phone.
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