Several K.C. teens arrested after cars damaged in viral prank
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – Several teens were arrested after police say they damaged at least three vehicles on the Country Club Plaza.
What they are accused of doing is a dangerous prank that has become a growing trend across social media. “Putting ’em in a coffin” is a phrase describing pranksters who leap back-first onto cars, emulating a coffin.
Besides damaging vehicles during the prank, teens have also been seen online dropping their body weight on store displays and landscaping.
Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte said in a tweet a little after 3 a.m. Sunday that there was heavy police presence in the popular shopping district and the teens still thought they could get away with destruction of property. Police have not said whether the vandalism occurred Saturday night or early Sunday.
Forte said officers even observed the teens standing on the hood of vehicles. A person in the group apparently posted on Facebook a video of the young people jumping onto the hoods of vehicles. KCTV5 removed the audio from the video because of the repeated profanities and slurs.
“The juveniles were arrested for breaking the law. Once again I’ll share that arrests are made based on behavior and nothing else,” Forte tweeted.
Forte did not say what charges the young people will face. No injuries were reported.
The Kansas City Police Department declined KCTV5 News’ request for comment on the incident. However, Forte told KCTV5 that officers “continue to engage at the level necessary to prevent crime and to keep everyone safe.”
Forte also said officers will continue to focus on the disobedient, and there will be no tolerance for lawbreakers.
“I’ve practiced this approach since I was appointed,” he said.
KCTV5 reached out to Kansas City Mayor Sly James on Sunday, but James, who is up for re-election on Tuesday, did not make any statements on Sunday.
James signed a new curfew in 2011 requiring most teens to leave the Plaza and four other entertainment districts by 9 p.m. This occurred after gunfire broke out near him.
The curfew goes in effect from the Friday before Memorial Day through the last Sunday in September.
The curfew from the end of September through the end of May is 11 p.m.
The curfew is in effect in the five entertainment districts for teens 17 years old and younger, not accompanied by a parent or guardian. Besides the Plaza, the other entertainment districts are downtown, Westport, the 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District and Zona Rosa.
Some Kansas City Council members and community leaders have criticized the Kansas City Police Department for failing to cite whites for violating the curfew law.
“We use curfew enforcement as a last resort. It’s not about race, it’s about keeping our young people safe,” Forte said in a tweet. “Fear not, as of last week not a single curfew violation had been issued on the Plaza. Most kids follow rules/laws.”
By Chris Oberholtz, KCTV