CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — A Cleveland Heights teenager and a group of his friends are in hot water after staging an armed robbery of the teen’s mother.
Police say the 17-year-old’s idea of playing a prank on his mother was to conspire with three of his friends, put on ski masks and confront the 40-year-old woman in her driveway.
Investigators say the suspects ordered the woman into her house, where they pointed a gun at her head, told her to get on the floor and demanded her money.
The so-called prank ended badly for the teen and his friends when the 17-year-old staged a fight with the intruders, and his terrified mother ran out of the house.
In a 911 call, the teen told a dispatcher, “I just did a fake robbery prank on my mom and she ran. I know she called the police. She’s nowhere to be found.”
The 17-year-old then explained why he called 911, telling the dispatcher, “I just don’t want the police to come here aggressive, if you get what I’m saying.”
The dispatcher then asked, “You did a fake robbery prank on your mother?”
The teen responded, “Yeah, but she thought it was for real. Like when I got to wrestling my friends for fake, she ran out of the house.”
At the same time, a homeowner on a neighboring street called 911 to report that a woman in distress was hiding on his porch and asking for help.
“I’ve got a lady that knocked on my door and she’s hiding on my porch like someone was chasing her or something, and she said ‘hurry, hurry’, she’s kind of mouthing out the word ‘hurry’. I didn’t open the door and let her in because I don’t know what’s going on, but she sees me on the phone right now calling you guys and I think she was in danger out here,” the concerned resident told the dispatcher.
The teenager told investigators that he actually videotaped his mom being terrorized, as entertainment for his YouTube channel.
When the dispatcher asked, “Can you explain to me what happened and why you did that to your mother?”
The teen responded, “I do YouTube. It was on YouTube, so I did a YouTube prank.”
When the dispatcher then asked, “Is it like a live YouTube thing?”
The 17-year-old responded, “Yeah, it’s still live right now.”
The 17-year-old and one of his friends are facing juvenile charges.
The two adults who took part in the stunt, 19-year-old Isaiah Welch and 18-year-old Jeramy Perry, are facing charges that include inducing panic.
Police seized the cell phone that the boy used to record the staged robbery.
Investigators say the only weapon found at the scene was an airsoft pistol.