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YouTuber Gets Prison Time And Massive Fine For Pranking Homeless Man With Toothpaste-Filled Oreos


When executing a YouTube prank, what is the most important part? Is it finding something funny?

Ensuring you can keep a straight face? Perhaps getting the right angle on video to share?

How about making sure you aren’t poisoning someone desperate for food?

Kanghua Ren, a Barcelona-based YouTuber who goes by the name ReSet, should have followed that last part a little more carefully. In January 2017, he filmed himself “pranking” a homeless man by giving him Oreos filled with toothpaste.

Now he’s facing possible prison time.

Ren’s video, which has since been deleted, depicted him scraping the icing out of a package of Oreo cookies and replacing it with toothpaste. He then refilled the package and gave it to a homeless man outside a supermarket.

The man is initially grateful, with Ren also giving him €20 ($25). However, when the man starts to eat the cookies, Ren has some doubts about his YouTube prank.

Ren says in the video:

“Maybe I’ve gone a bit far, but look at the positive side, this will help him clean his teeth. I think he hasn’t cleaned them since he became poor.”

The cruel joke has left few willing to defend his actions.

The man, identified in court documents as Gheorge L., says he grew sick and vomited after eating the cookies. After the video went up, it was the subject of controversy, with many finding the act cruel.

A Barcelona court agreed, as last week they issued Ren a 15-month prison sentence on top of a €22,000 ($24,700) fine. While Ren tried to dismiss the video as a bad YouTube prank, the judge pointed out that Ren made over €2,000 ($2,250) off the video.

In addition, Ren has been ordered to close his social media accounts and cannot re-open them for five years.

Ren was 19 when he filmed the prank and tried to explain that he was very immature when he made that video. Which while probably true, doesn’t excuse the act.

The YouTuber also had videos where he tried offering sandwiches filled with his cats’ droppings to elderly people and children.

All this taken together, Judge Rosa Aragonés found Ren’s attempts to apologize lacking.

The judge said, when handing down her sentence:

“This was not an isolated act.”

However, while prosecutors have sought the two-year prison sentence, and the judge has issued a 15-month one, it’s possible Ren won’t serve time.

Spanish law allows short prison sentences for first-time offenders to be suspended.

It may not be guaranteed that the sentence will be suspended, but even if it is, the 5-year ban on social media should be plenty.

Ren dropped out of school to focus on his YouTube channel full time and may find it difficult to continue his career after this ruling.

YouTubers pulling bad pranks is a tale as old as the site itself. YouTubers Cole and Sav tried pranking their own daughter by telling her they were giving away the girl’s dog.

The 6-year-old obviously burst into tears over the news, and continued crying when the parents revealed it was a prank.

Cruelty is not funny. Ever.


Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.