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Texas Police Identify Girl Filmed Licking Blue Bell Ice Cream, Putting It Back in a Store Freezer

3 minute read
Updated: | Originally published: ;

Police in Texas say the girl seen in a viral video opening a container of Blue Bell’s Tin Roof flavored ice cream, licking the top and putting it back in a store freezer is a teenager from San Antonio.

Footage of the girl seen quickly licking the top of a tub of open ice cream while, off-camera, someone encourages her before saying, “Put it back” went viral last week. The girl laughs throughout the short video.

The owner of the Twitter account responsible for sharing the viral video, which goes by the name Optimus Primal, tells TIME he found the video through Instagram as part of a story shared by the actress Alexis Fields-Jackson and reposted it. He says did not know the identities of the people in the video.

Fields-Jackson has said she does not know the person either, explaining on Instagram that she saw the video on Twitter, “and posted it to warn people about how disgusting folks are.” She added that Instagram later removed her video, and in a caption wrote that she has been “threatened and defamed” since sharing it.

Blue Bell told TIME in a statement that the incident took place at a Walmart in Lufkin, Texas, where staff located the half gallon of Tin Roof ice cream that “appears to have been compromised.” The Lufkin Police Department has taken over the investigation.

“Food tampering is not a joke,” the company said. Blue Bell has removed all other half gallons of Tin Roof ice cream from the Walmart location.

Lufkin police said Friday that the girl suspected of licking the ice cream is a juvenile with ties to the area through her boyfriend’s family. Under Texas law, juveniles are anyone under the age of 17. Police said they would not pursue charges against the girl as an adult and that it is unclear what kind of charges she will face as a juvenile; the case will be turned over to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Because she’s a minor, the girl’s identity remains protected under the Texas Family Code.

Beyond to-be-expected reactions of shock and disappointment — I scream, you scream, we all scream about ice cream that’s been licked and potentially re-sold — the video prompted many people on Twitter to question why Blue Bell doesn’t put protective seals on its ice cream.

To this, the company said its half gallon containers of ice cream are flipped upside down during production and sent to a hardening room “where the ice cream freezes to the lid creating a natural seal.” “The lids are frozen tightly to the carton,” the statement said. “Any attempt at opening the product should be noticeable.”

Another Texas-based Walmart took extra measures to protect its Blue Bell ice cream. The Walmart in Corpus Christie posted a photo on Facebook of an employee “armed” with a water gun next to the ice cream.

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com