BECKLEY, W.Va. – Three teenagers have been charged with littering after they allegedly burned a dead puppy on a woman's front porch as a prank.
The teens told police that the prank was inspired by the 1995 Adam Sandler comedy, "Billy Madison," Beckley police Detective Cpl. David Allard said. Characters in the movie burned bags containing feces on porches.
Raleigh County prosecutors determined that the teens could not be charged with animal cruelty because the puppy was dead when it was burned, Allard said.
Michael McMillion, 19, Stephen Walker, 19, and Gerald Simon Jr., 18, all of the Beckley area, were arrested after the police department and Beckley Fire Department received anonymous tips, Allard said.
Allard said the teens were riding together early on Dec. 21 when they found the puppy, which apparently had been hit by a car. They allegedly chose the victim's house at random, knocked on the door and set a box containing the dog's body on fire on the porch.
"They never intended for anyone to be harmed," Allard said. "After they saw the big attention it drew and that the fire department became involved, they realized it was very stupid. They all felt extremely sorry for doing so."
The teens are scheduled to appear in Beckley Municipal Court on Jan. 4. If convicted, they each face fines of $50 to $1,000 and/or 16 to 18 hours of litter cleanup.