Florida barber's bloody ear prank on 10-year-old boy sparks mixed reactions

One Florida barber has gone viral online for a practical joke shared to YouTube, during which he pretends to cut off a 10-year-old boy’s ear during a routine haircut.

Jude Sannicandro of Naples, Fla., successfully pulled the prank on Vito DiPalma, who is a longtime customer and family friend, on July 27. According to Sannicandro, owner of the (somewhat ironically named) barber shop Hair Medics, the gory stunt was well deserved: 10-year-old DiPalma seriously spooked Sannicandro two months ago by placing a fake cockroach in the barber shop.

WARNING: Clip contains strong language.

“It scared the crap out of me, especially because earlier that day, there was a real cockroach in our bathroom. I told Vito that he opened a can of worms, but he said that he wasn’t scared and was too old to cry,” the 43-year-old barber told Yahoo Lifestyle.

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After getting permission from DiPalma’s parents, Sannicandro decided to exact his revenge.

In the three-minute YouTube clip, which has since been viewed over 17 million times and shared 326,000 time on Facebook, Sannicandro was cutting the youngster’s hair with an electric buzzer as he reminds him to “be careful, this is a real sharp one.”

Then, he pretends to nick DiPalma’s right ear.

Grabbing paper towels to blot the “cut," the boy asks “Am I bleeding?” Sannicandro nervously replies, “Maybe a little bit,” as fake blood gushes down DiPalma’s cheek.

“I think we need to call an ambulance,” Sannicandro says, “I’ve never had anything like this happen before, I don’t know what to do. DiPalma asks for his mom and Sannicandro “drops” a fake, bloodied ear on the ground.

“Is that my ear?!” DiPalma cries as his mom rushes over – before Sannicandro grandly reveals it was all a joke.

“Hey, remember that roach prank when you said I couldn’t make you cry? … You’re fine,” he laughs, pulling away the paper towel from DiPalma’s (fully intact) right ear.

“He got you!” DiPalma’s mom chimes in.

“But I did not cry,” the brave youngster declares. “I’m shivering.”

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In the days since, the gag has sparked mixed reactions online across multiple platforms. 

“Well played Sir!” one YouTube fan wrote. "Epic!!" another agreed.

Facebook users, meanwhile, were more divided.

“You shouldn’t do this to a child,” one critic clapped.

“This terrible. NOT FUNNY,” another agreed.

“Hysterical but mean,” one said.

Sannicandro, meanwhile, is standing by his stunt.

“I wouldn’t have pulled this on anyone else but Vito — he’s a unique old soul, and I’ve been cutting his hair since he was a baby,” he told Yahoo of the prank.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak