LUFKIN, Texas — A Texas teenager may be facing charges after a viral video appeared to show her licking ice cream at a Lufkin Walmart and putting it back on the shelf.
- Suspect may be charged with tampering with a consumer product
- Blue Bell removed Tin Roof ice cream from Lufkin Walmart shelves
- Police are searching for man who is involved
The Lufkin Police Department is investigating a video that shows a teenager licking a carton of Blue Bell Tin Roof ice cream. The teenager is seen laughing as she places the carton back in the freezer. The video was posted to social media on June 28.
People on social media identified the suspect as being from San Antonio. That led authorities to believe the video was shot in a San Antonio store.
On July 3, Blue Bell instructed all of its division managers to see if they could identify the store shown in the video. Within an hour, the store was identified as a Lufkin Walmart. Police say a Lufkin division manager identified the Walmart based on the store’s unique merchandising that can be seen in the video.
Blue Bell has removed all half-gallons of Tin Roof ice cream from Lufkin Walmart shelves. The company believes it has obtained the tainted container of ice cream.
“Our biggest concern is consumer safety — in that regard we are glad to see the tainted product off the shelves,” Lufkin director of public safety Gerald Williamson said.
Police later obtained surveillance video placing a female who matched the suspect’s description at the Lufkin Walmart on June 28.
Police also identified an adult man who appears with the suspect in the surveillance video. It appears that he was behind the camera in the viral video.
Lufkin officials said they spoke to the teen and her boyfriend on Friday. Police say they admitted to the act.
Lufkin police say they will not pursue charges against the teen as an adult. They are turning the case over to the juvenile justice system.
“The safety of our ice cream is our highest priority, and we work hard to maintain the highest level of confidence of our customers,” Blue Bell said in a statement on its website. “Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products. We are grateful to the customers who alerted us and provided us with information.”
Police aren’t releasing the teenager’s name because as a juvenile offender, her identity is protected under section 58.104 of the Texas Family Code.