Police Hunting for Teens Pulling Pranks on Fast Food Drive-Thru Employees

This is a rush transcript from "The Big Story With John Gibson," August 8, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN GIBSON, "BIG STORY" HOST: The "Big Crime" story. Here's your taco, here's your Diet Coke, fire in the hole, splat!

Pranksters with cameras and cars are rolling into drive-thrus attacking employees and posting their stupidity online on the popular Web site YouTube. They think they're fine, but the joke is going to be on them soon when the cops find them. "Big Story" correspondent Douglas Kennedy has more on this troubling trend. What's going on?

DOUGLAS KENNEDY, "BIG STORY" CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, John, it's particularly troubling because police say it's on the Internet, and they fear it will soon copycat across the country. If it does, they say kids everywhere could find themselves facing serious charges.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I have a large Coke?

KENNEDY (VOICE-OVER): A large Coke, but it's not for drinking. This soda is for slinging.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole!


KENNEDY: It's called "Fire in the Hole," and it's a new phenomenon on YouTube.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole!


KENNEDY: As part of the pubescent prank, teens order a drink from the fast food window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like the biggest drink you have.

KENNEDY: They then chuck the cup onto the unsuspecting restaurant worker...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole!

KENNEDY: …screaming "fire in the hole" before driving away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole!

KENNEDY: Police in New York and Pennsylvania say they've received many complaints from various fast food restaurants. This is a phenomenon that has taken on a life of its own.

LT DENNIS DOOLEY, LLOYD HARBOR POLICE: Once it is on the Internet, I mean, there'll be kids in New Mexico doing it, kids in Alaska. I mean, it'll take off like crazy.

KENNEDY: Recently, multiple versions of the juvenile joke have appeared on YouTube. In all of the videos, teen boys buy a beverage and then quickly hurl it back on the employee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have my card.

KENNEDY: Police in Long Island say it's the videos that will eventually lead to a bust. Some of them, you can see their faces right there.

DOOLEY: For an investigator, trained investigator, it's not going to take too long before they put them together as far as knowing who they are. Plus, you know, they're probably not going to be able to keep their mouth shut as to what they did anyway.

KENNEDY: But some of the adolescent tricksters have already received retribution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole!

KENNEDY: These boys got their beverage thrown right back at them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire in the hole!

KENNEDY: And this kid couldn't get his car in gear before the quick-acting cashier got revenge. Still, authorities say most of the fire in the hole victims are low-paid workers who don't deserve the disrespect.

What kind of charges will these guys face if they're caught?

DOOLEY: Well, you could have an assault charge based — assault, third degree — based on if anybody's injured as a result of the cup being thrown at them. I don't know how hard the cups are or if the ice is thrown to the point where it gets in somebody's eye and causes an injury.


KENNEDY: On a few of the videos, some of the kids can be heard yelling racial insults. Police say if those kids are caught, they could be caught with a racially motivated attack, and that, John, as you know, can carry serious jail time.

GIBSON: So, Douglas, these are low-paid young people working at the drive-thru?

KENNEDY: That's right. And you know, some of these cars are obviously rich cars, they're parents' cars.

GIBSON: Rich kids?


GIBSON: So this is basically a rich kid trend?

KENNEDY: Rich kids, yeah, vs. the poor people in their town.

GIBSON: Is there anything that may seem like what the drive-thru employees are getting ready to do to make sure that they nail them back?

KENNEDY: Well, some are already prepared, and there was one video where they've already got a security guard out front, but that didn't stop them from chucking their soda right in the face of the poor employee.

GIBSON: Douglas Kennedy. Fire in the hole, indeed. Douglas, thanks.

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