Louisiana man, 36, arrested for licking ice cream and putting it back on store shelf says he just 'wanted to be famous'
Lenise Lloyd Martin III was apprehended on July 6 for his participation in the notorious #IceCreamChallenge that has seen a sea of copycat crimes across the country
The Louisiana man who posted a video of himself licking ice cream out of a container and then placing it back on the shelf at a local grocer's outlet has now been arrested.
On July 6, Assumption Parish sheriffs apprehended 36-year-old Lenise Lloyd Martin III for his participation in the notorious #IceCreamChallenge that has seen a sea of copycat crimes across the country after a video went viral online, People reports.
The trend was initiated by a teenager at an East Texas Walmart who was subsequently held by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, according to NBC News.
On July 5, Martin posted his challenge on Facebook. The video showed him licking a tub of Blue Bell ice cream and placing it back on the freezer at Big B’s Supermarket in Belle Rose. The store later pulled up security footage and caught him in the act after a customer reported him to staffers.
Speaking to People, Lonny Cavalier, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said they worked with Big B's to search for the same ice cream container at first, but failed to locate it. They eventually had to throw out all the Blue Bell ice cream as a precaution, before notifying the manufacturer.
According to the report, Martin later returned to the store to show police a receipt to prove he had purchased the ice cream.
“He said he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. His explanation to us was, ‘All I wanted to do was be famous,’ like it wasn’t a problem,” Lonny told the outlet. “Obviously, it’s a tremendous concern all over the country, tampering with food products. It’s a big deal.”
According to online records, Martin was slapped with charges including criminal mischief for tampering with a product before purchasing it, and unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity.
Martin was released from prison Tuesday on his own recognizance.
In a conversation with People, Tyler Cavalier—the chief of staff at the Assumption Parish District Attorney’s Office—revealed the office is yet to receive the case file for the prosecutor to review.
“Once we receive the file, we’re going to evaluate and look at the evidence and go from there,” he said.
“This is new for us,” Tyler added. “We never had an ice-cream licker. We’ve officially seen it all.”
In the meantime, Blue Bell issued a statement regarding the incident on their website.
“Food safety is our top priority, and we work hard to provide a safe product and maintain the highest level of confidence from our consumers,” the company wrote. “We are always looking for ways to improve, including looking at methods within our manufacturing process to add additional protection to the carton.”
“We thank everyone for their assistance in this case,” they added.