LUFKIN, Texas — Police say they’ve identified the person who opened a carton of ice cream at a Texas Walmart, licked the creamy goodness and put it back in the freezer.
Lufkin Police earlier said they were searching for the woman, who gleefully contaminated a half-gallon of Blue Bell Tin Roof ice cream — which the company describes as “a vanilla ice cream with a rich chocolate fudge swirl and roasted peanuts dipped in dark chocolate” — last week in a Twitter video that has garnered more than 11 million views.
Lufkin police said the “Blue Bell licker” is a 17-year-old juvenile from San Antonio. Her boyfriend’s family lives in the Lufkin area, police said. Both the teen and her boyfriend, who is an adult, admitted to the act. Police said someone posing as the “Blue Bell licker” bragged about it on Instagram, complicating the investigation.
The woman will not face charges as an adult since she’s a juvenile, police said, adding that it would be up to the juvenile justice system to pursue any action in the case. Her boyfriend could face charges since he’s an adult; it will likely be up to prosecutors if he’ll be charged.
Before learning the suspect was a juvenile, police said she faced a charge of second-degree felony tampering with a consumer product, which carries two to 20 years behind bars and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
Blue Bell called the unsettling footage a “malicious act” in a statement on its website.
The ice cream maker said it inspected the freezer case that contained the licked ice cream, found the problematic tub and removed all Tin Roof half gallons from the Lufkin Walmart.
“The safety of our ice cream is our highest priority, and we work hard to maintain the highest level of confidence of our customers. Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products,” Blue Bell said.
A Walmart in Corpus Christi isn’t taking any chances with its own ice cream stock.
To protect its frozen goods, the store said, it stationed an “armed” guard in front of its precious Blue Bell freezer and posted a photo Wednesday of an employee holding a squirt gun; the photo was removed about 18 hours later.
“We’re guarding our Blue Bell Ice cream for your Weekend party, what a great way to cool down in the Hot Texas heat!” the post said.