Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, 20, surrendered himself at the Boca Raton police station Monday after he and his partner Jonathan Vanegas, both of Delray Beach, got into trouble with the law following their latest video prank "Russian Hitman Prank Gone Wrong!"
The Sun-Sentinel reports that Monday's arrest is the second time this year that Zdoroverskiy has been arrested for his video pranks. He and his partner Jonathan Vanegas, shot to stardom after their YouTube hit "Miami Zombie Attack Prank," that received 13 million views.
Their latest video prank, the "Russian Hitman Gone Wrong," a briefcase bomb hoax that landed them in trouble with the police, has already received several thousand views.
According to Boca Raton Police spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg, the victim Andre D. Brown, panicked. But Boonenberg said any reasonable person would react in the same way. She said: "He wasn't aware that it was a joke and I think a normal person would probably not find it funny either."
Boonenberg said: "Try doing that in an airport and see the reaction you're going to get. In the times we live in, you have to be cognizant of the consequences of your actions and they clearly were not."
According to Boonenberg, the bomb hoax victim Andre D. Brown, 47, served in the 101st Airborne Division for four years.
Brown, speaking on the parking lot outside his SE 11th St. apartment building where the prank happened, said he is usually an easygoing person and that most people were surprised at his angry reaction. He said the pranksters went too far: "To be honest, I can deal with jokes, but their jokes? I think they need to think about what they're doing more carefully." Brown, however, says that now he laughs when his friends tease him about it.
According to The Sun-Sentinel, Brown said he was glad that the pranksters had targeted him and not some other person in the neighborhood, because some of his neighbors have health issues and their lives could have been put at risk. Brown would also like the pranksters to consider their actions carefully in the future. However, he said he does not think they should be severely punished. "We all make mistakes," he concluded.
The Sun Sentinel reports the prank happened on July 13, outside the Pibix at 1001 S. Federal Highway in Boca Raton and was captured on video by Zdorovetskiy's partner, Vanegas. The video shows Zdorovetskiy, dressed in a suit and carrying a briefcase. He walks up to Brown and tells him that both have only 60 seconds to get away from the brief case. Both men begin running.
But after the two had been running for a while, Zdorovetskiy tells Brown it is just a joke. Brown erupts in a rage, shouting and swearing at the pranksters. He chases after them and tackles Vanegas. He shouts: "You trying to get a laugh? I'm not a motherf----- you laugh at! If you keep filming me, I am going to f--- you up!"
Zdorovetskiy eventually apologizes to Brown, saying: "Take a chill pill, bro."
MyFoxdfw.com reports that unknown to the two, someone had called the police. The police arrived with a bomb squad and arrested Vanegas. Zdorovetskiy fled but later turned himself in.
Vanegas, 20, spent the night in jail with a second-degree felony charge of possession of a hoax bomb, The Sun Sentinel reports.
This is not the first time Zdorovetskiy has been in trouble with the law over his pranks. On March 23, he was arrested after he posed as a law enforcement officer. The video titled "DUI Ticket Prank" shows him dressed as a law enforcement officer and stopping people to conduct fake DUI investigations. The case, however, was not prosecuted. When he was arrested on Monday, he was on probation for an incident in which he tried to get into Durty Harrry's bar using a fake driver's license. He was arrested in Key West on October 28, 2011 and charged with a felony count of using a fake ID and a misdemeanor count of breach of the peace.
He was charged with violation of probation after his arrest on Monday.
According to WPTV, Vanegas said he could still hardly believe that he was arrested. He said: "We go to the Boca jail, I'm shirtless for about four hours until I go to the county jail."
According to Vanegas, his shirt came off during the fight with Brown after the prank. WPTV reports he said: "It wasn't that bad, but the worst part about it was that I was detained on the first floor with 16 other cellmates and we don't have beds or anything."
Zdorovetskiy admitted after he turned himself in that probable cause existed for his arrest. But he said he does not regret the prank. According to Zdorovetskiy, "I'm just sad the person got that upset."
WPTV reports Zdorovetskiy appeared surprised that the video prank has resulted in law enforcement intervention. He said: "The bomb squad came. Can you believe that? The bomb squad came for this prank. It's unbelievable how law is these days."