Two students have been charged with attempted arson and malicious property damage after performing the “outlet challenge.”
The challenge has become viral on TikTok and involves partially inserting a mobile charger into a wall outlet and then placing a penny on the exposed metal prongs to create a blast of electrical sparks.
The Massachusetts students who performed the challenge at Plymouth North High caused “minor damage to the building” according to a statement from Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri. He added: “This behavior is very dangerous and has potential to cause serious damage to property as well as serious injury to students, staff, or visitors.”
The students are also being charged for a similar recent incident at the school that had previously not been reported.
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The charges come days after Massachusetts Fire Marshall Peter J. Ostroskey issued an advisory which warned about the outlet challenge. In the Tuesday advisory, he said that there had already been two incidents of outlets being scorched in Massachusetts as a result of the challenge.
The outlet challenge is one of several social media challenges that has resulted in arrests and charges. In mid-2019, the “ice cream licking challenge,” which involved licking the ice cream inside a container before placing it back in store freezers, led to several arrests with some of the ice cream lickers facing up to a year in prison.