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‘Smack cam’ attacker arrested, prosecutor warns youths against posting violence online

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Chuck Ross
Reporter, Daily Caller News Foundation

The teenager videotaped punching a woman in the face in Rochester, N.Y. has been arrested, and the district attorney considers it a teachable moment: Don’t post your violent acts online.

Devin Alexander, 16, was arrested Wednesday night on a probation violation after a Facebook video surfaced showing him attacking the woman as she emerged from a convenience store.

“This should be a message to everyone out there,” said Monroe County, N.Y. District Attorney Sandra Doorley in an interview with Rochester’s WHEC. “Whatever you put on or through social media, we’re going to be able to find out who you are and you’re going to have to answer the consequences.”

“I’m about to smack the old lady with the snowball when she come out the store,” said Alexander, as he danced to off-camera laughs from his friends.

Instead of merely hitting the woman with the snowball as she emerged from the store, Alexander, whose Facebook name was “True Goon Toocool Sneekey,” punched her in the head.

Alexander and his goon squad ran away from the scene cheering and chanting “smack cam” over and over.

Despite the brazen violence, Rochester police said that under New York penal law, this type of attack merely constitutes harassment rather than assault. Sgt. Elena Correia told The Daily Caller News Foundation that assault charges in New York require “substantial pain”.

The victim in the “smack cam” attack apparently did not call police afterwards, and they have not yet identified her.

Monroe County, N.Y. records show that Alexander was arrested last July and given six months probation in September. But Rochester police told TheDCNF that they would not disclose the circumstances of that July arrest. Likewise, they would not disclose what crime, if any, Alexander will be charged with in the “smack cam” case. (RELATED: New York cops call ‘Knockout’ attack harassment, not assault).

“Smack cam” is a phenomenon of the social media website Vine, on which users create short video clips. In its intended form, smack cam involves a prank — usually with one friend surprising another with a slap or a pie to the face.

But smack cam has been taken to violent extremes, such as the attack in Rochester.

Max Isidor Jr., the 21-year old creator of the online trend, said in an interview last year after several incidents of smack cam gone wrong that he never intended the game to get out of hand.

“It’s a bad idea for people who are taking it the wrong way and doing something bad with it,” said Isidor in an interview with Philadelphia’s NBC 10. “It was not really my intention to do that at all. I did this with good friends. I didn’t do it with random strangers and stuff like that, and I didn’t try to hurt them.”

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