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Social Media Prank Leaves Mom of Two Hospitalized

A prank goes horribly wrong and lands a new mom in the hospital.

As part of a new social media prank, people are sneaking up behind unsuspecting shoppers and throwing a bucket over their head. The pranksters then run off leaving their victim confused and wondering what just happened. But when the bucket prank was done to one woman in Orange County, Calif, the result had serious consequences. Lana Clay-Monaghan has epilepsy and a heart condition that was triggered due to the cruel prank. She's speaking out about the scary incident and says she doesn't want others to experience what she has gone through.  

The Stranger Bucket Challenge

Inside Edition

The increasingly popular fad of putting a bucket over a stranger's head when they least expect it is sweeping across different social media platforms, which is becoming more talked about now due to the incident with Clay-Monaghan.  There are dozens of videos that show people filming themselves putting a bucket over someone's head they don't know and getting their reaction. In some cases, the prankster puts a bucket over their own head to make it seem like someone else was responsible and people want this trend to stop. 

The Victim Was Really Scared


Clay-Monaghan was shopping at her local Target browsing for baby supplies when a bucket was placed over her head that caught her off guard. The 35-year-old "freaked out" and told the Los Angeles Times, "I was fearful for my life, but I could hear laughing behind me." She explained to KTLA that she was shopping for baby supplies when the incident happened. "I was looking at some baby soap. I leaned down and my whole world changed," Clay-Monaghan said. "Everything went quiet, dark and there was really no air. I flipped off what was put over me, around my neck, and I turned around and looked over my left shoulder. To my dismay, it was a group of individuals who were filming me, seemingly for some sort of prank or maybe for something like TikTok."  

Clay-Monaghan Has Epilepsy and Was Rushed to the Hospital

Inside Edition

The new mom of two twin boys passed out and woke up to paramedics taking her to UC Irvine Medical Center where she was released later that day. She told the LA Times, "I started to say, 'Help me,' when I fell to the ground," she said. "My last memory is people laughing at me." Clay-Monaghan has epilepsy and a heart condition, which was triggered as a result of the prank, according to Inside Edition

Police Say Four Suspects are Involved


According to local authorities, there are four individuals involved in the incident. The Tustin Police Department put out a statement with the following information. "On Sunday, March 26, 2023, at approximately 2:45 p.m., four male juveniles entered Target and began walking around. Several minutes later one of them picked up a bucket and placed it over the head of an adult female shopper. Several seconds later the juveniles are seen fleeing the store."

Investigators are Looking at This Case as an Assault and Battery


While this was meant to be a stupid social media prank, it took a serious turn and police are considering this incident a crime. KTLA reports, "Obviously, in this case, it can have some pretty bad consequences, but at the end of the day it's a crime," Lt. Ryan Co with Tustin PD said. "It's an assault and battery on another person and we're going to investigate it that way." Meanwhile the victim is still traumatized by the event and told the outlet, "I keep looking over my shoulder. I'm a nervous wreck," she told KTLA. "I cannot believe that in my community you could go to Target, be in Target maybe a mere 10 to 15 minutes and someone would find it amusing to come and strategically find a female by herself in the baby aisle and think this would be funny or laughable for likes." 

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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