‘Copycat Incident:’ Louisiana Man Arrested After Licking Ice Cream, Putting It Back on Shelf

July 8, 2019 Updated: July 8, 2019

A Louisiana man was arrested after licking a tub of Blue Bell ice cream before putting the container back, apparently in a copycat attempt of a similar viral video.

The video shows the man, identified in news reports as Lenise Martin III, licking the ice cream at a supermarket in Louisiana. Two children were reportedly nearby.

Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Martin on July 6, reported WAFB.

Investigators said that management asked Martin to return to the store when they became aware of the clip.

Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office Commander Lonny Cavalier told CNN that Martin, who showed officials receipts to suggest that he had purchased the ice cream after licking it, wasn’t absolved of his crimes.

“Taking into consideration that he eventually purchased the same container is one thing,” Cavalier said. “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,” he added.

Authorities later questioned Martin, and he was charged with unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity and tampering with property, the report stated.

“We discourage anyone from copying this atrocious act,” a sheriff’s office spokesperson told WAFB. “It is illegal. It’s a health risk to others. We will pursue anyone we see do this. You will be charged.”

The spokesman said that law enforcement has sent out notices to investigators about copycat cases.

Martin is still in jail, and his bond will be set by a judge.

Cavalier told CNN that Martin appeared to be inspired by a video made by a juvenile in Texas who licked Blue Bell ice cream inside a container before putting it back on the shelf.

Of Martin, police “believe it’s a copycat incident,” Cavalier said. “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.”

Texas Suspect Identified

Police in East Texas said that a teenager from San Antonio has been identified as the suspect who took a container of Blue Bell ice cream, licked it, put the lid back on, and then placed it back in the shelf at an area Walmart.

The video of the incident went viral, drawing horror from people on social media. “You foul,” says a voice off-camera in the clip.

The teen’s name was not revealed by police as she is a juvenile, CBS News reported on July 5, adding that detectives have spoken with the suspect. They won’t be releasing her name to the public because she is a minor.

The Texas Juvenile Justice Department is now handling the case, said the Lufkin Police Department to CBS.

Before she was identified, reports said she could face as much as 20 years in prison. Officials were planning on arresting her on second-degree felony tampering charges.

Blue Bell issued a statement about the matter, saying the ice cream was not sold.

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