A YouTube star filmed and uploaded a prank where he replaced the filling of Oreo cookies with toothpaste and fed them to a homeless man. Kanguhua Ren – who posts under the name ReSet on YouTube – posted the video in January 2017, showing him repackaging the tainted Oreos and giving them to Gheorge L., who became ill after eating them.
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At the time the video was posted, Ren had over a million followers on YouTube. Ren – who was born in China but lived most of his life in Spain – gave the toothpaste-filled cookies to Gheorge along with 20 euros.
The prank took a turn for the worst when Gheorge got sick after eating the Oreos. Ren also taunted Gheorge, saying the cookies would help with his oral hygiene.
In the video, Ren did consider whether he may have taken the prank too far. “But look at the positive side; this will help him clean his teeth,” said Ren, according to a report by Fox News. “I think he hasn’t cleaned them since he became poor.”
Gheorge, who was subsequently hospitalized in a mental institution, stated that he had “never been treated so poorly while living on the street.”
Ren attempted to stymy the backlash from the video, visiting Gheorge a second time and offering him another 20 euros as well as visiting the man’s daughter and offering her 300 euros in hopes of stopping her from filing a lawsuit.
Ren was arrested after the incident and faced criminal charges of violating the moral integrity of Gheorge. On Friday, a Barcelona judge sentence Ren to 15 months in prison and ordered him to pay $22,300 to Gheorge.
The judge also ordered Ren to shut down his social media accounts and remain off of the platforms for five years.
For the Oreo prank video, Ren earned $2,475 in advertising revenue, a point that the judge didn’t overlook and said demonstrated that “this was not an isolated act” as Ren posted other videos showcasing “cruel behaviors” towards “easy or vulnerable victims” previously.
In court, Ren tried to defend the videos, stating, “I do things to mount a show. People like what is morbid.”
Even though the sentence includes prison time, Ren may not spend any time in jail. Spanish law is typically lenient on first-time offenders who are convicted of non-violent crimes, often waiving the prison sentences.