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When pranks go too far

Ali Roberts, Staffer

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One of a mother’s worst fears has come true for the mother of 11-year-old Tysen Benz; due to a gross and inappropriate social media “prank”, Tysen Benz attempted suicide on March 14. His mother found him in his room about an hour into the prank, after he had hung himself.  His mother contacted an emergency response team who was able to resuscitate him, he was then rushed to the hospital and kept on life support for almost 3 weeks until the doctors informed his family that he was severely brain damaged would never recuperate. Because of this, the family made the decision that no family should ever have to make for an 11-year-old boy, and they let him go on April 5th.

A girl that his mother claims was his girlfriend did the horrible prank played on this boy. His mother explained that her prank was to fake her own suicide, using various social media sites, and also used her friend’s social media accounts to spread the horrible rumor. His mother also found that Tysen contacted the girl’s friends, and the girl herself, and expressed his thoughts of suicide, but they kept up the lie.

Katrina Goss, his mother, said to PEOPLE magazine, “[her friends] did nothing to contact me or the authorities. I truly don’t know what the point of this prank was. I don’t even know how that’s supposed to be funny, especially if she cared about him at all. I am not sure how that could be a joke. She must have severe psychological issues to go forward with something like that and to keep the joke going even after he told her he was going to kill himself.”

The girl is being charged with malicious use of telecommunication services and using a computer to commit a crime.

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When pranks go too far