A Florida mother is facing felony charges after video of her underage daughter licking a tongue depressor in a doctor's office in Jacksonville, Fla, before putting it back in the full container was posted online.
The mother, 30-year-old Cori E. Ward, was arrested on a felony charge of tampering with a consumer product without regard for possible death or bodily injury, NBC News reported. Ward was with her daughter at local doctor's office when she filmed her daughter taking a tongue depressor out of a filled container, licking it, and replacing it in the container.
There is a sign above the tongue depressor container that reads, "please do not touch medical supplies," and in the video, the text "don't tell me how to live my life" is written below the imagery.
Ward's video was posted after a Texas teen made headlines for posting her own "licking video," where she licked a tub of Blue Bell ice cream from a freezer in a local Walmart before replacing the tub back in the freezer. Ward initially posted the video on her own social media, and amid backlash explained that her daughter didn't do it as part of any "challenge."
“What I didn’t know was that there was a 'licking challenge' as I don’t scroll social media like that,” WTLV News reported that Ward wrote on Facebook before eventually deleting her account.
“The video doesn’t show that the items were thrown away or anything else that happened,” her explanation continued. “I posted this on my personal Snapchat with my 20-something friends, where someone allowed another person to video it. I didn’t post it on Facebook or YouTube as a challenge or whatever,” she added.
The video was apparently posted by someone who had seen it posted on SnapChat. Once it was released, the doctor's office released a statement saying "we immediately removed all materials and containers from the specific exam room and re-sanitized our entire facility."
The mother of five spoke about her arrest with Action News JAX saying "I mean honestly I wasn’t thinking," when asked about the video. "I know what it’s like to, you know, have to worry about your kids’ health and stuff. I would never put somebody else’s kid at risk."
Ward says she's since received death threats since her story went viral. “It’s horrible. I mean, I’m scared for my kids, especially, my oldest that’s out and on her own since they posted her photo,” she said. "I’m sorry for anyone that it's offended. It should have never been taken this far."