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An 18-year old Indiana boy is facing serious charges because of a senior prank that did not injure anyone. Tyell Morton, a Rushville, Indiana high school senior, was arrested last week after he was caught on surveillance video dressed in a dark hooded sweatshirt and wearing latex gloves. The video showed Morton initially with a package and then leaving without it.
Because of the suspicious nature of Morton’s actions, the school was evacuated and the Indiana bomb squad was called in to investigate. Instead of explosives or other dangerous materials, the package contained a blow-up doll and was left in the girl’s restroom. Morton admitted to pulling the prank and police arrested him with felony criminal mischief charges.
“It’s not right…” says Morton.”It was a senior prank. They’re blowing it out of proportion. I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t intend to embarrass anybody. What did I do wrong? Ya know?”
School officials complain that the prank cost them eight thousand dollars. Prosecutors and law enforcement in the county also believe that the boy should be seriously prosecuted. “In this post-Columbine world, that’s what you get when these kinds of things happen,” Rush County prosecutor Phil Caviness stated.
And that is where the problem lies. We are always reactionary. And we look at things in black and white. Yes, Morton’s behavior would appear odd on camera and the school reacted quickly. Instead of being satisfied that there was no disaster and that everything worked as it should have, the school and the county are pissed off. Why? It is just like a drill. And why would anyone advocate ruining a young man’s life because of the prank? He is 18 years old. He did not have any idea of the potential consequences. And now the county is willing to waste a great deal more money on trying Morton and jailing Morton to punish him for wasting money. Does that make any freaking sense?
If Morton is convicted, he could face eight years in prison. Even though Morton has never been in trouble before and is a good student, he is banned from school property and not allowed to attend graduation. “A senior prank, get put in jail? I hate to see what they put you in jail for nowadays, ya know?” says Morton.
It should be noted that Morton is not white and clearly not rich. No rich prep school boy would ever be arrested for a senior prank. It wouldn’t happen. But, the government is more than willing to gamble on this boy’s future to prove how tough they are. Yeah, pick on a young kid. That makes you one step above a wife beater.