In a post–9/11 world there is no room for humor or common sense among hyperactive law enforcement. But a man who makes a living by laugh-inducing pranks believes otherwise.
Columbus, Ohio police arrested pro-prankster Roman Atwood on Tuesday for “inducing panic and disorderly conduct.”
The question remains – what law was broken to force the man to appear in court next week?
Atwood’s viral pranks include anything from attaching rubber snakes to girls in public, helping the homeless with pizza parties or staging kidnappings. The young father and his team average tens of millions of views on his award-winning YouTube channel. Some are elaborate like the drive-by shooting prank, and some involve police threats while pretending to urinate in public. His most well-known Internet favorite garnered 43+ million views and featured a surprise twist when he told his girlfriend of 5 years that he had cheated.
This time he faked breaking into a bought and gutted ATM with play money.
We bought the ATM here in Ohio. It’s a gutted out ATM and it looks completely real.
On North High Street near OSU campus he and his film mates opened their ATM and threw money into a duffel bag. Of course, someone upon glancing at the incident called the police. They explained the whole thing to the bystander but the person still called 9-1-1. Police could clearly see the play money and that the whole thing was a staged, recorded prank. This did not matter to them.
Not only was the team placed in police cruisers but they also spotted a police helicopter flying overhead. Police left a stern warning with the local news station that pulling pranks like this diverts their resources away from stopping real criminals. Oh really? What of the resources of helicopters, arrest, confiscation and court hearings? Also, his other videos show the department’s familiarity with him and their amused reactions to his antics.
They were not taken into jail but have a summons to appear in court next week. Atwood, all smiles, said he’s ready.
In this prank, once it’s released, you’ll see everybody laughing. And [police] say they have witnesses that were panicked. I can’t wait to see that, because we have everything captured on camera.
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His footage and equipment, however, have all been confiscated by police and kept as evidence.
Well, not all the cameras; there was one the cops couldn’t find, so the guys uploaded their personal reaction on this video including behind-the-scenes interview with a news anchor:
Here is the in-front-of-the-scenes interview:
Roman’s credo is “Smile More.” His calling is to create happiness. Following his social media, you can see he is all laughs – like they are all completely thrilled with the whole incident. With the power of humor, you can’t keep good men down.
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