Last week, a Texas woman went the worst kind of viral after a video showing her allegedly opening and licking a carton of Blue Bell ice cream and then returning it to a Walmart freezer made its way around the internet. "We take this issue very seriously and are currently working with law enforcement, retail partners and social media platforms," the company wrote in a statement that it posted to its website and shared repeatedly on Twitter. "This type of incident will not be tolerated."
Blue Bell meant it: Somehow, it located what it believed to be the carton the woman licked, and as an extra precaution, it removed every half-gallon package of Tin Roof-flavored ice cream from that Walmart in Lufkin, Texas.
On Friday, the Lufkin Police Department announced that it had identified the woman in the video and, as she is under 17, the department declined to release her name. "The suspect is tied to the Lufkin area through her boyfriend’s family. We have spoken with her boyfriend, who is an adult, as well. They were both forthcoming with what occurred and admitted to the act," the cops wrote on Facebook. "We do not intend to pursue charges against her as an 'adult' and therefore what happens from here is at the discretion of the juvenile justice system [...] As to whether her boyfriend will face charges, we are currently discussing his involvement with prosecutors."
So problem solved, right? Can we all go back to buying ice cream and feeling reasonably confident that no one else's tongue has touched it? Well, OF COURSE NOT. Juvenile or not, identified or not, this woman seems to have inspired other idiotic, unsanitary copycats to go to their own supermarkets and tamper with frozen desserts for the sole purpose of being disgusting.
Over the weekend, a Louisiana woman posted a video of a man opening a carton of ice cream, licking it and poking it with his finger before returning it to the freezer. "This done gotten out of hand," she tweeted. "Now his old ass should know better." If he didn't know better before, he probably does now: Lenise Martin III was arrested on Saturday after another shopper in that same Louisiana supermarket tipped off the cops. (Martin allegedly posted the video of his own unoriginal crime on Facebook, so it may not have taken a lot of detective work to nail him.)
Although Martin had a receipt proving that he bought the carton of Blue Bell he contaminated—or at least a carton—he is still facing charges of unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity and criminal mischief.
"Taking into consideration that he eventually purchased the same container is one thing," Lonny Cavalier, a Public Information Officer for the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Department, told CNN. "However he puts it on Facebook to gain this notoriety and at the end of the day, it gives other people ideas that are not the best interest of public health."
Although Blue Bell doesn't put a plastic seal around its cartons of ice cream (it says that during production, "the ice cream freezes to the lid creating a natural seal" and that it should be "noticeable" if the carton has been opened), some supermarkets are taking extra precautions. "Store clerks had to lock the freezers after the recent trashy trend of people going around stores, opening containers and licking the top of the ice cream before putting it back," one Redditor posted on the r/trashy subreddit. In the photo, the freezer is locked tight with a sign that read "Please see employee for help."
On one hand, at least the alleged ice cream lickers are dumb enough to film themselves and post it online, which just makes it easier to identify them. On the other, can everyone, collectively, knock it off? Ice cream is an eternal pleasure, and we'd appreciate if you didn't take that away from us.