Police: Bloody Prank Is No Joke

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HAZLETON -- It's all fun and games until the police show up. That's what happened when a prank backfired this week in Hazleton, and now two men are facing citations over a prank that police and many residents didn't find very funny.

Two men are facing disorderly conduct charges after they attempted a Friday the 13th-style prank in the city on Tuesday, but when the cops showed up, the whole thing backfired.

That prank looked like a homicide and the pranksters caught it all on video.

"I get a call that someone's pulling a body out of the trunk of a car, there's blood all over a car and they're washing it off. So we're coming down here 100 mph in icy conditions because you two are being goofballs."

It was all because of a prank.

Shayne Balliet of Freeland is the so-called mastermind behind the joke and the one who recorded the YouTube video.

He and Cody Chippi of Hazleton put fake blood on a car, took it to a car wash, washed the blood off, and then stuffed a fake body into a trunk

But the plan backfired.

"We didn't think it through. We went a little bit too far," Balliet said.

About five Hazleton police officers came speeding down 15th Street, thinking they were heading to a crime scene.

"When we get a call, especially of a possible homicide, abduction, dead body, attempted homicide, all of our brothers and sisters in arms are racing to our aid," said Hazleton Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.

The men planned that prank at a car wash, but what they didn't think about were the people who would be driving along 15th Street who saw it, thought it was real and called police.

"To find out that someone thought this was going to be funny, it is far from funny."

Many people in the city agreed with the cops.

"It could have turned out to be a catastrophe due to the fact that there's a lot of accidents going on in town," said James Olian of Weatherly.

Hazleton's police chief says something like this prank will cost the city several hundred dollars, plus the time officers could have spent investigating and preventing real crimes in Hazleton.

"I'm hoping we'll learn from this, we'll move on and we'll be a better community without these kinds of pranks."

Balliet admits the prank may have crossed the line but he also says he has no intentions of stopping his pranks anytime soon.

"There's no reason to be fearful of your city. You should be proud of your city. You should be proud of things that are happening in your city that are not in a negative light."

Balliet said he plans on doing the exact prank again on Friday the 13th, but he did say that this time he'll give police a heads up.

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