Houston Teen Arrested After Video Showing Assault Of Strangers In Park Goes Viral

A TikTok video that showed 19-year-old Alford Lewis and 18-year-old Kingston Miker punching strangers in a Houston park went viral last week. Now one of the teens has been arrested for assault.

The quote-unquote prank attacks, which took place in Wortham Park, generated thousands of views and caused residents to fear walking in the area, Fox 26 Houston reports.

Lewis was arrested for allegedly assaulting two people and pointing a gun at them while Miker filmed the attacks.

“These hashtags, prank, knockout, punch: they’re in the hundreds of millions if not billions of views,” said Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers Houston, told Fox 26. “This generation of children desire to be consumed. They want to be online, part of a viral conversation. They want to create content that trends.”

Mankarious added that the increase in violent videos aimed at cementing infamy for their creators is a growing problem TikTok is well aware of.

The popular social media app reportedly removes millions of videos from its platforms monthly, using data collected in three-month increments to decide what violates the terms of its user agreement. In October 2022, TikTok created the category “dangerous acts and challenges,” which accounted for five percent of the material removed from the platform, Fox 26 Houston reports.

From January to March 2023, the number of videos removed categorized under the aforementioned description grew to 5.2%. Mankarious is urging residents in the Houston area to contact Crime Stoppers for resources on how to stress the importance of not engaging in dangerous acts or pranks for entertainment to young people.

“Come to us; we’ll have these conversations with your kids for you, but it should be part of daily conversation,” she added.

The Child Mind Institute names an increase in callousness as well as a decline in the ability to read important social cues, develop healthy interpersonal skills, and heightened aggression as negative risks associated with teenagers using social media.