Cops in the suburban city of Tustin, California are looking for four male teenagers or young adults after a TikTok prank gone wrong in a Target store made national news.
Last Sunday afternoon, a 35-year-old mother named Lana Clay-Monaghan was shopping at a Target in the city of Tustin when “all of a sudden” a bucket was slammed down over her head from behind. A bucket being placed on someone’s head may not sound like a big deal to most people, but Clay-Monaghan suffers from epilepsy, and losing her senses in such an unexpected way triggered an epileptic response that shut down her body.
The new mom spoke to the Los Angeles Times and FOX 11 Los Angeles this week about the incident. She reported being shocked when, without warning, her “vision” and “hearing” were obstructed from behind:
“I couldn’t breathe. I grabbed my neck, I started screaming. I was in such a state of fear and shock, however, I could hear laughing.”
She said insult was quickly added to injury when she realized the four young men were playing a prank on her:
“When I turned around I was mortified to see a group of individuals and they were filming me. They were holding their phones up and laughing and pointing at me.”
At that point, Clay-Monaghan’s epileptic history took over, and she began to feel herself losing consciousness. She told the local outlets how the last thing she remembered before hitting the floor was asking for help from the men who pranked her:
“The worst part about this for me is the last moment I had is asking them for help and they were laughing at me and I hit the ground.”
Per the Times, the new momma was unconscious until paramedics transported her to a local hospital.
The prank-gone-wrong now appears to be a significant problem for Target — and for the “four male juveniles” involved. The Tustin Police Department released a statement to their Facebook page this week confirming the incident and explaining what happened:
“The Tustin Police Department is aware of several social media posts regarding an assault that took place yesterday at Target in The District. TPD is actively investigating this case and we wanted to clarify several questions we have received. Here are several preliminary facts that have been reported to us: On Sunday, March 26, 2023, at approximately 2:45 p.m., four male juveniles entered Target and began walking around. Several minutes later one of them picked up a bucket and placed it over the head of an adult female shopper. Several seconds later the juveniles are seen fleeing the store.”
The TPD also revealed how the bucket prank appears to be part of a TikTok challenge involving teens who place buckets on strangers’ heads and film their reactions:
“As a result of the incident, the female shopper likely fainted and was transported to a local hospital in stable condition and a police report was taken. It is likely the juveniles were attempting to replicate the current social media trend where they place a bucket on a stranger’s head and film their reaction. There is no current threat to the community.”
As you can see from one of many examples (below), these pranks have been going around TikTok for a while now:
Uh… that seems like a dumb prank, but OK. But remember, these kinds of pranksters are the same kinds of people who were licking toilet seats recently. Not too smart! (Also, this particular video seems very likely staged, TBH. This Tustin story is a great example of why you should “prank” your friends and not random strangers!!!)
Anyways, here is more on Clay-Monaghan’s terrible time in that Tustin Target:
In a Facebook post she made after her story started going viral this week, the perturbed mom added more:
“I felt targeted, vulnerable and in that moment I feared that my life was in danger. As you can imagine, this has been an incredibly traumatic experience for me, and I am still struggling to come to terms with what happened. The fact that this was all done in the name of a prank is especially distressing, and I feel that it is important for the public to be aware of the potential dangers of social media and the harmful consequences of thoughtless actions. No one should have to experience what I went through.”
As for Target, the Los Angeles Times reports the store is “cooperating with authorities” as police try to determine who was behind this unfortunate and unnecessary incident.
Reactions, Perezcious readers??
[Image via Fox 11 Los Angeles/YouTube]