A 19-year-old has reportedly admitted that a shocking string of assaults at a park in Texas were all for a TikTok prank video.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the attacks since news spread on social media, KTRK News reports. The attacks are said to have occurred Thursday at Wortham Park, northwest of Houston.
Video of the attacks was shared on the social media platform Nextdoor. It appears to show footage of a young man wearing a red hoodie randomly sucker-punching two men in separate incidents. In one assault, the teen tackles a man at the waist.
Local news outlets KTRK and KHOU tracked down and spoke to Alford Lewis, the teenager alleged to be the serial assaulter.
“It was a prank. I had no problem with the man. I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I was hanging out with my friend, and we did a TikTok (video), and so, yeah, I didn’t mean it, didn’t mean to harm anybody,” Lewis texted to KTRK News, per the outlet.
Lewis also told KHOU reporter Jason Miles that he now regrets his actions.
“You know, I just made a mistake and everybody makes mistakes,” Lewis added, per KHOU.
“I really didn’t expect for it to go so left, you know… I know from the video all you see is the bad part about it. But what people don’t see is that I shook his hand after and gave the man a hug.”
The station noted that “couldn’t verify that part of his story.”
While Lewis also admitted that he was trying to film a video to get likes on social media, the intense backlash he’s experienced has him rethinking his actions and hoping others don’t make the same mistake.
“I really didn’t expect it to go so left, you know.” 19 year-old featured in a TikTok video randomly punching people in a Houston area park tells me he regrets it and is ready to face potential consequences. Hear more on @KHOU at 10:00 #khou11 pic.twitter.com/I2HDwLNSqz
— Jason Miles (@JMilesKHOU) October 28, 2023
“Before you go out and do anything you feel is bad, or that could look bad, make sure, like, people know – or just don’t do it at all,” Lewis told KHOU.
KTRK News spoke with parkgoers and neighbors about the video, with some saying “that’s not cool” and “obviously, something is wrong with that person.”
“He’s 19. He’s of age. He knows right from wrong. That’s assault,” Frankie Jimenez, one of his neighbors, told KTRK.
“We hope he gets the help he needs. Also, spends time in jail for something very dangerous. It could have been much worse than it was,” said parkgoer Michael Patrick, per KTRK. “Also, spends time in jail for something very dangerous. It could have been much worse than it was.”
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Division is reportedly investigating. Victims of the alleged assaults may have to file charges themselves before any case against Lewis can proceed, KHOU reports.