BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - The spread of COVID-19 has forced Americans to keep their distance, but many aren’t grasping the concept.
Two men were caught on camera Monday night licking a couple’s Ring doorbell.
“The first shock was the noise. The noise of someone coming up straight to this camera and licking it. Not once, but twice," said Matthew Wehmeier.
He installed the doorbell camera to help his wife, Crystal, feel more comfortable at home while he’s away. The two have “noisy neighbors" who often trigger the doorbell, sending an alert to their phones.
In her free time, Crystal goes back and reviews the videos. On Tuesday she got quite a surprise when she did.
Just after 10 p.m. Monday, two men were moving around the door. The video then shows one of the men walk up and lick the camera. Not once, but twice.
The two then proceeded to show off their dance moves for the camera.
“They really put on a show,” Wehmeier said. “It was shocking, to say the least.”
He did not recognize the two culprits, whom he called “losers” in a social media post. Instead, he believes they might have been visiting his next-door neighbor.
“You can’t choose your neighbors,” Wehmeier said. “Or their guests.”
Since that night, the Wehmeiers have been checking their app to see who or what’s going on outside their door.
Thursday, after we posted this story online, they had an unexpected visitor.
“What I did the other night was absolutely uncalled for and I understand that and I apologize," a man said to the camera.
The man revealed that he was visiting a friend and that he also lives in the same apartment complex.
“I was kinda showing out and putting on a show for the camera. And that’s not okay," the man said. “I apologize for that.”
Matthew, who was at work at the time, responded to him through the camera.
“I appreciate that. That’s stand up of you," Matthew told him. “Very, very honest of you and stand up of you.”
While he appreciates the man’s apology, Wehmeier says he hopes they and everyone understand the consequences, especially in these times.
“Be aware of what you do. Whether it was before we had this pandemic or now," Wehmeier said. “Lots of things can have consequences.”
He went online to the Batesville Police Department “contact us” page to let the department know what happened that night.
Police Chief Alan Cockrill says he was unaware of the situation until Thursday because the page malfunctioned.
Wehmeier did not know if he would press charges.
Region 8 News asked BPD Investigator Jason Bryant what charges the “camera licker" could face. He said it could be anything from criminal mischief to assault, but it all is case-by-case.
“It’s just strange,” Wehmeier said of the stunt, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re going through a pandemic and people are out here spreading germs.”