On December 15, 2017, Butler Intermediate High School in Butler County, Pennsylvania became the scene of an aggravated assault, according to local police.
The assault in this case involved two 14-year-old girls and their 13-year-old friend, who authorities say purposely exposed a fellow 14-year-old classmate to pineapple knowing full well that the girl was severely allergic to the fruit.
According to officials, one of the 14-year-olds brought a small plastic container of pineapples to school, rubbed the fruit all over her hand, and then high-fived the student who was allergic.
Naturally, the student began having a serious allergic reaction to the fruit. Authorities are now calling this an assault.
“My understanding is she could go into anaphylactic shock and, if not properly and quickly treated, could die,” explained Lt. Matthew Pearson of the Butler Township Police Department.
Luckily, the teen affected by the pineapple was immediately treated and is doing well now.
However, the three remaining teens responsible for her allergic reaction are facing serious consequences, as aggravated assault is considered a felony charge.
The 14-year-old responsible for rubbing the pineapple on her hand is charged with “aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person,” while her two conspirator friends face similar charges for allegedly assisting in the attack.
Local attorney Mike Santicola, who is a father to a 14-year-old himself, believes the charge may be too strong. “The pineapple was not illegally brought in,” he said. “It’s not a weapon. It’s not any of those things. It’s a fruit cup. And can you intentionally and knowingly kill somebody with a fruit cup? I don’t think adults could make that decision, let alone 14-year-olds.”
When CBS Pittsburgh reached out to the Butler Area School District for a comment on the case, they gave the following statement: “As with all student discipline issues, we are unable to provide a comment on the specific incident. However, it is our expectation that our students respect themselves and others. When that does not occur, the district will take appropriate disciplinary action and, if appropriate, contact law enforcement.”
What do you think about this unique case? While intention to harm was clear, do you think the three girls should be charged with felonies? Or does this appear to simply be a prank gone wrong?
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