A mom and her boyfriend thought it would be a hoot to drive her young son and his nanny around town in the back of a pickup filled with colorful water-absorbent beads.
The way-back passengers seemed to have a blast “swimming,” jumping and shimmying in the Orbeez beads — but around some tight corners in traffic it looked as if they almost “floated” over the sides.
The stunt featured boy YouTube “star” Rocco Piazza, 8, who has his own Rocco Piazza Vlog channel doing crazy, sometimes apparently death-defying, stunts filmed by mom Holly Piazza. The pickup stunt in their hometown of Corona, in Southern California, quickly joined the lineup and got nearly 1 million hits. It was still posted Friday night.
But things got serious fast when police were tipped off to the video and cited Rocco’s mom and her boyfriend on suspicion of child endangerment, a misdemeanor, reported Los Angeles’ ABC-7 TV.
The couple also got a ticket for illegal dumping, according to a police statement. The beads — all 1 million of them — were dumped on the street by the traveling truck when the stunt was over, causing traffic bedlam and a major mess as beads clogged drainage areas. That was filmed in a second video called “Illegally dumping a million Orbeez.” The couple will be charged for cleanup.
“This is probably the first time we’ve done something this illegal,” Holly Piazza told Inside Edition. “We never put Rocco in harm’s way.”
“I feel like it was awesome,” said Rocco. “It’s just really cool for us.”
“We’re not going to do it again,” said his mom.
A police spokesman said traveling in the back of the pickup was dangerous for Rocco and his nanny.
“Poor parenting skills,” Detective John Samano of the Corona Police Department told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a poor choice and a poor judgment on behalf of the parents.”
The Riverside County Department of Child Protective Service is still investigating the case, Samano said.
“They understand what they did was wrong,” Corona police Sgt. Paul Mercado told The Riverside Press Enterprise. “They understand they made a mistake. They’re taking ownership and working with the city.”