Florida mother arrested after video of daughter licking tongue depressor at clinic and then putting it back goes viral
A Florida mom has been arrested and charged after her underage daughter was caught on video licking a tongue depressor and then placing it back with the unused depressors at a Jacksonville doctor's office.
Cori E. Ward, 30, was arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office after she posted a video on social media on Tuesday, July 9, that showed her daughter placing a tongue depressor she had licked back in with the other depressors at the All About Kids and Families Medical Center, according to WTLV.
The arrest came as a similar fad has been making the rounds across the country, with police in Lufkin, Texas, identifying and arresting a girl who recorded herself licking a tub of ice cream and laughing before placing it back in the freezer at a local Walmart.
Then, earlier this week, police arrested and charged a Louisiana man with unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity, and tampering with property after he similarly posted a video of himself showing him licking ice cream straight from the tub and putting it back.
But Ward insisted in a now-deleted social media post that her daughter licking the depressor was not a choreographed prank and that it was not motivated by a social media trend.
"What I didn’t know was that there was a 'licking challenge' as I don’t scroll social media like that," she wrote, also arguing that the video did not show that the items her daughter licked were either cleaned or discarded.
Ward had uploaded the video on Snapchat with the caption, "Don't tell me how to live my life," according to News4Jax.
"The video doesn’t show that the items were thrown away or anything else that happened," she continued in her post. "I posted this on my personal Snapchat with my 20-something friends, where someone allowed another person to video it. I didn’t post it on Facebook or YouTube as a challenge or whatever."
After her arrest, All About Kids and Families Medical Center confirmed in a statement that they had "immediately removed all materials and containers from the specific exam room and re-sanitized our entire facility."
"This type of behavior is not tolerated at All About Kids and Families Medical Center," they added. "Each year, we serve thousands of patients, and providing quality care and ensuring their safety is our top priority."
Ward said she was "just being silly with my kids" and that she regrets her actions. "It’s ruined my life right now. That’s how I feel at least," she told News4Jax, adding, "I just care about my kids and how this is going to affect them."
Ward is facing a felony charge of tampering with a consumer product without regard for possible death or bodily injury. She is not eligible for bond and is scheduled to make her first appearance in court at 9 am on Friday, July 12.