Blue Bell licking: Police say teen will not face adult charges in viral ice cream stunt

LUFKIN, Texas -- A girl from San Antonio has been identified as the suspect seen licking a Blue Bell ice cream tub and then placing it back in a store freezer, police said.

On Friday, Lufkin Police Department said the juvenile suspect's identity is not being released and the case is being turned over to the juvenile courts. She is not expected to face adult charges.

Mark Gorman, the director of the juvenile probation department in the girl's home county, Angelina County, told ABC13 they are aware of the case and are discussing with Lufkin PD on how to handle it.

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Gorman added there is the possibility that San Antonio area authorities could be the ones to arrest and prosecute her. The girl has not yet been arrested.

In the days since the video of the girl went viral, Blue Bell Creameries identified the store as a Walmart in Lufkin, which is about two hours outside Houston.

The company said it was considering steps to protect its packaging. In a statement Friday, Blue Bell said, "We are always looking for ways to improve, including looking at methods within our manufacturing process to add additional protection to the carton."

After police identified the suspect, Blue Bell added, "This case is now in the hands of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to pursue however it deems appropriate."

Earlier in the week, police stated they were looking at federal charges in the case. They said the suspect could have faced a felony charge of tampering with a consumer product, which carries a prison term of up to 20 years.

According to Gorman, she could still face a felony count, but prosecutors could reduce the charge since she is a juvenile.

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While the girl's identification is heading to a resolution in the case, police expressed challenges in positively identifying the ice cream licker.

According to Jessica Pebsworth, Lufkin PD's public relations officer, a "catfish" who used an Instagram handle similar to the suspect's began taking credit for the act.

Pebsworth said a post of the video from the catfish account stated, "Yeah, I really did that. You can call it Flu Bell ice cream now 'cause I was a lil sick last week. Repost yourself doing this. Let's see if we can start an epidemic (literally)."

In fact, according to police, investigators narrowed the suspect down from four to six women with similar screen names and appearances.

Police stated the girl is connected to the Lufkin area through her boyfriend's family. Lufkin PD is currently discussing with prosecutors on whether the boyfriend should face charges.
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