Feedback
News

Suspects Identified in ‘Ice-Bucket’ Prank on Autistic Teen: Lawyer

Police in suburban Cleveland have identified most of the culprits behind a disgusting ice-bucket challenge "prank" that left an autistic 14-year-old covered in bodily fluids, a lawyer for the boy's family told NBC News on Monday.

"Police were able to identify a majority of the suspects in the video that actually perpetrated this really heinous act," said attorney Dean Valore. "There are still some additional unidentified people, (but) investigators are hoping by the end of the week to turn the case over to the local prosecutor's office."

Valore, a former Ohio and federal prosecutor, said that most of the kids who actually dumped the bucket of urine, feces and spit on the boy are known, but police are still trying to determine who actually filled the container. He said that he'd like to see assault charges, preferably even as a hate crime.

Bay Village Police Chief Mark Spaetzel told Cleveland.com on Monday that suspects had been identified, but added, "We are being very thorough in gathering all the necessary facts before presenting to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office. We are not sure when that will happen because we have additional interviews to conduct and further investigative avenues to pursue."

Bay Village School District Superintendent Clinton Keener told NBC News on Tuesday that five minors have been identified by police and "school discipline will be as permitted by Ohio law." But he noted that the incident took place off-campus and "prior to the start of school."

Meanwhile, Valore said that the boy and his family have been "overwhelmed" — "but it's a good kind of overwhelming" — by the outpouring of support from celebrities and regular folks alike. Over the weekend, comedian Drew Carey offered $10,000 to help find the responsible culprits behind the prank.

"We’ve been inundated with an outpouring, nationally and internationally, of support, both financially and moral support — from celebrities, from moms in their kitchens with autistic kids calling me."

TODAY takes the ice bucket challenge 2:37

IN-DEPTH

SOCIAL

— Hasani Gittens