A woman who was previously caught licking a tub of Blue Bell ‘tin roof’ flavored ice cream then putting it back in a store freezer in a viral video, could face up to 20 years in prison.
The woman from the viral video of her licking a tub of ice cream and returning it back to the grocery store shelf has been identified and is now facing up to 20 years in prison. 11 Million! That's the number of views the video got as it made the rounds through social media. The video shows the woman (so-far unnamed) opening a container of 'Blue Bell' ice-cream and running her tongue across it and placing it back on the freezer shelf, in a branch of Walmart in the city of Lufkin, eastern Texas.
Police said on Wednesday they believed they had identified the suspect after “detectives had obtained surveillance video placing a woman matching the suspect description in the Lufkin store on June 28 around 11 p.m.” They are waiting to finally verify her identity before issuing an arrest warrant. Police also want to speak to the man she was with, who is thought to have filmed the incident and can be heard encouraging the woman to “lick it, lick it.”
She could face a second-degree felony charge of tampering with a consumer product, the Lufkin police department said in an email statement to NBC News. The charge comes with a two- to 20-year prison term and up to $10,000 in fines, according to Texas state penal code. The woman is yet to give her own statement on the issue yet. She may and can very well hope to find a lawyer and help her out in this case, though the charges don't seem like they would be completely dropped.
Police in East Texas are searching for a woman suspected of taking a tub of ice cream from a Walmart freezer, removing the top to lick the ice cream and then returning it to the freezer https://t.co/yMu0Q537KH pic.twitter.com/6xH9LK8ai0— KATV News (@KATVNews) July 5, 2019
Investigators are also in discussions with the FDA and additional federal charges could be made. “Our detectives are working to verify the identity of the female suspect before a warrant is issued for her arrest on a charge of second-degree felony tampering with a consumer product,” a police spokesperson said. “As that portion of the investigation continues, detectives are focusing on identifying the male (in the green shirt) behind the camera seen in images of the two entering the store together.”
Police added that detectives will continue to work through the Fourth of July holiday on the case. The search to determine exactly where the incident took place sparked an investigation spanning from San Antonio to Houston, police said on Facebook. In an earlier statement, the company explained that its cartons are frozen upside down in production, which creates a natural, tight seal by freezing the lid to the tub, meaning consumers would notice if any tampering occurred upon opening a fresh tub The search to determine exactly where the incident took place sparked an investigation spanning from San Antonio to Houston, police said on Facebook. “Our biggest concern is consumer safety,” Lufkin Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson is quoted as saying on Facebook. “In that regard, we are glad to see the tainted product off the shelves.”
Blue Bell Creameries, the local manufacturer of the ice cream brand the woman licked, has called the incident a “malicious act of food tampering.”. All tubs containing the mix of creamy vanilla ice cream with swirls of chocolate fudge and dark-chocolate-covered roasted peanuts have been removed from the store’s shelves as a precaution, the company said.
The specific carton believed to be compromised was found among the lot. In an earlier statement, the company explained that its cartons are frozen upside down in production, which creates a natural, tight seal by freezing the lid to the tub, meaning consumers would notice if any tampering occurred upon opening a fresh tub. Blue Bell thanked customers for raising concerns about the video in a statement on the company’s website.