TikTok Bucket Prank Backfires, Police Investigating After Woman Is Hospitalized

Police in Tustin, California are on the lookout for four male juveniles who allegedly assaulted a 35-year-old mom at a Target as part of an apparent social media prank.

Over the weekend, Lana Clay-Monaghan was shopping when — “all of a sudden,” she says — a bucket was placed over her head. “My vision, my hearing was obstructed,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

“I couldn’t breathe. I grabbed my neck, I started screaming. I was in such a state of fear and shock, however, I could hear laughing,” she also told FOX 11. “When I turned around I was mortified to see a group of individuals and they were filming me. They were holding their phones up and laughing and pointing at me.”

The woman, who said she suffers with epilepsy and felt a wave of sudden stress in the moment, then lost consciousness. “The worst part about this for me is the last moment I had is asking them for help and they were laughing at me and I hit the ground,” she recalled.

She didn’t regain consciousness until she was in the hospital.

In a statement, the Tustin Police Department said they were “actively investigating” the case, adding that “four male juveniles” were seen entering the store, placing the bucket over her head and then “fleeing” the location. Police believe the group was “attempting to replicate the current social media trend where they place a bucket on a stranger’s head and film their reaction,” saying they believe there is “no current threat to the community” at this time.

Clay-Monaghan wrote on Facebook that police also informed her it was likely part of a “TikTok prank” as well. A search of “bucket over head prank” or “bucket prank” on the site results in a plethora of videos with millions of views.

“I felt targeted, vulnerable and in that moment I feared that my life was in danger,” she wrote. “As you can imagine, this has been an incredibly traumatic experience for me, and I am still struggling to come to terms with what happened.”

“The fact that this was all done in the name of a prank is especially distressing, and I feel that it is important for the public to be aware of the potential dangers of social media and the harmful consequences of thoughtless actions,” she added. “No one should have to experience what I went through.”

She also told the LA Times that she hoped those responsible step forward to “take responsibility for their actions,” after criticizing them for not helping her when she collapsed.

Target said it was cooperating with authorities.

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