Police talk to teen behind Louisville Purge hoax
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Friday night Louisville Metro Police confirmed they spoke with the teenager behind an online hoax that trended worldwide.
Earlier in the week officers spoke with the juvenile whose tweet set into motion a series of events including additional police patrols, a canceled football scrimmage and flurry of social media conversation.
On Friday afternoon, Director of Public Information for Kenton County Public Schools Jessica Dykes announced the district decided to move a varsity football scrimmage scheduled for Aug. 15 between Simon Kenton High School and St. Xavier High School to Saturday morning at Simon Kenton in Independence, Kentucky.
"We had heard via social media about 'The Purge,' and we were in conversations with St. X all day and all morning," said Dykes. "Ultimately we made the decision based on what was best for our kids and the safety of the students."
Safety was also a concern for the Louisville Metro, Clarksville and Jeffersonville police departments. All three departments had extra an police presence and took the threats and the citizen's concerns seriously.
WAVE 3 News spoke with the juvenile claiming to be behind the tweet Friday night. The teen told reporters, "I didn't think it would really get that serious until it actually did. Then I started feeling really bad about it because people's mamma's talkin' bout movin' to Indiana for the night and stuff. It was wrong for me to do that. I apologize to everybody in Louisville, I love my city it's where I was born and raised. I love my city and don't really wanna harm my city – I just thought it would be funny."
Despite the social media attention about the prank, at 8 p.m. Friday, the time the Louisville Purge was supposed to start, people weren't afraid. In fact, they were out and about all over over town.
From Waterfront Park to Main Street to Bardstown Road people were out enjoying themselves. Whether they were eating dinner on the sidewalk, or tossing a football on the Great Lawn there were no signs of the random acts of violence threatened on social media.
"It's probably the silliest thing I ever heard it really is and it stops me from doing nothing," said Kevin Webb, who was out with friends for dinner. "You hear about this stuff all the time and there's some big scare and everybody gets freaked out."
One person did say after seeing the Louisville Purge on social media earlier in the week they did wonder if there was anything to it. Others like Hannah Williams and Carrie Gleason who were out enjoying the night walking on the Big Four Bridge said they knew it was a prank gone bad.
"We honestly suspected it was a high school student just trying to play a prank," Gleason said. Williams added, "We were talking about that and saying 'we just think it's some kid who thinks it's funny.'"
Bryan Trusty, who was also out Friday night, said, "I thought it was a joke, just a silly thing that blew up on the internet and no big deal, as here we all are."
As of Friday night Louisville Metro police said no charges had been pressed against the juvenile.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In our 11 p.m. broadcast on Aug. 15, 2014 we identified the teenager with his name and photo. However, after speaking to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, we have decided not to include his identity in future stories.
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