Janie Talley, the mother of a 16-year-old boy, has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor as she watched her son cover himself with fingernail polish and then light himself on fire. The entire incident is part of the latest social media stunt and trend where kids are dousing themselves with flammable liquid and then setting themselves on fire as someone records it on video and then posts it to Facebook, calling it a "Fire Challenge," as reported by Standard Media.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police reported that after the teen covered himself with fingernail polish remover, he lit himself up in flames, but quickly panicked. There were others present at the time who helped him put our the fire as quickly as possible. But the damage had already been done. The teen suffered minor burns to his neck and chest, according to the Daily Mail.
Notwithstanding the boy's injuries, the video was actually posted to Facebook. Someone reported the video to social services, according to the Charlotte Observer, and their officials immediately began an investigation. It wasn't long before the police became involved. When they questioned Talley, the boy's mom, she admitted to not only being present, but police report that she actually "facilitated the recording."
Janie Talley was ultimately arrested and she awaits her trial on October 2.
The Daily Mail reports that there are numerous cases of teens being seriously injured while trying to perform this media stunt. In July, a 15-year-old suffered serious second degree burns after pouring rubbing alcohol across his chest and then setting it ablaze. And just within the last two weeks, a 16-year-old also suffered damaging third degree burns in which skin grafts were needed.
Ted Williams, a criminal defense attorney, appeared on Fox News' On The Record with Greta Van Susteren. During his interview, he was adamant in his stance that Talley should be charged severely. Williams says it is an "idiot game" and is "beyond stuck on stupid. This is clearly outrageous," as reported by Fox News.
Williams goes on to tell Susteren:
"We've got people in burn units right now who are trying to survive and we've got idiots like this doing this on TV."
Katie Phang, Florida criminal defense attorney, also interviewed on Fox News, says:
"The parents' have got to be responsible."
She goes further to say that if this mom had been in Florida instead of North Carolina, that she would be charged with child abuse to the fullest extent of the law.
Phang, who is equally as outraged as Williams, says the mother of this 16-year-old boy is not busy helping her son fill out college applications because she is too busy encouraging him to light himself on fire for a Facebook video.
Fox News, along with other officials, are concerned that extremely serious injuries may occur, even death, if these kids don't stop. Ted Williams and Katie Phang said they fear there are people in the hospital who are sick and need to be treated, while these kids are needlessly inflicting injuries upon themselves. Then they have to be rushed to the hospital for treatment, hindering those who are there for reasons out of their control from getting the help they need.
The Daily Mail reports:
"Facebook has said they intend to remove such videos as they appear, but several such 'fire challenge' videos remain readily viewable on YouTube."
Williams and Phang both agree that parents, and anyone witnessing and/or participating in such events, should be prosecuted.
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