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Bakkie prank gone wrong: Parents charged with child endangement

2017-03-21 06:02

THIS IS CRAZY: 8-year-old Rocco and his nanny lay in a bakkie's load bay, filled with a million plastic little balls, as part of a stunt for his online channel. Image: YouTube

Janine Van der Post

California - Meet Rocco Piazza, an 8-year old Californian boy who has become a YouTube sensation thanks to his crazy stunt videos uploaded to his online channel.

He has more than 1.5-million followers subscribed to his channel - most of which include Orbeez (tiny little gel and water based plastic balls) balloons or bike, driving stunts on his dirtbike and much more.

However, his latest stunt, featuring Rocco and his 20-year-old nanny, has landed his parents in hot water with authorities. It's illegal to drive around in California with children in the load bay of a bakkie, let alone one that's filled with gel balls.

Rocco's parents were charged with endangering the life of their 8-year-old son.

According to statement, police said: "The video showed "dangerous driving behavior involving children."


Do you think these parents should be charged for endangering their 8-year-old boy for this bakkie prank? Email us or reach us via Facebook  and Twitter.


In the video, Rocco and his nanny can be seen swerving around dangerously in a million Orbeez balls. Several times, both Rocco and his nanny are almost thrown out of the back of the bakkie as it goes around corners while his parents are driving. The Orbeez creates a wave-like affect and causes the two youngsters to be swayed about with the motion of the little plastic balls.

Rocco's mom Holly said: "We've never put Rocco in harm's way. He wears protective gear, we make sure he's safe. And even though I chose to break the law as a parent, by putting him in the back of a truck, I was there that day. I was in control."


Rocco thinks the video was terrific: "I think it was awesome. People love it, people hate it, but its just really cool for us."

After the incident, authorities now want to put a stop to Rocco and his family's wild antics, according to reports. 

In the video, the balls are later seen dumped out of the back of the truck in the road while the bakkie is still in motion. According to reports, the million little balls caused thousands of dollars of damage, clogging storm drains and triggering major cleanup operation.

Rocco's mom and dad's parenting skills/style leaves a lot to be questioned with videos such as "Kid almost dies from trampoline park" or "Super bad idea: GT-R vs. scooter". 

Rocco's mom explains what happened a week after the stunt was posted and claims she and her husband were not arrested but had to pay some fines for breaking the law. She also claims that she and her husband never intentionally put their child in danger, and always put his safety first. She further claims the video was a 5-minute poor judgement call on their behalf as parents.

Parent24's Stefni Herbert, driver of a Ford Ranger, has twin 8-year-old boys. Here's what she has to say about the video:

"While the kids riding in the back look like they’re having loads of fun, we would never allow the boys to do something like this. We try our best to teach the boys to be 'out-the-box thinkers', so that they’re able to look at all possible outcomes and then make a decision about whether they should or shouldn’t go ahead with something.

"If I showed them this clip, they’d probably question this mother’s thinking. They’d be able to point out the dangers involved and what could happen to these kids.

"We wouldn't allow them to dump those balls on the road either. We teach the boys about obeying the law and that they cannot do as they please, the world doesn’t work like that. There are consequences for our actions.

"As for this child’s mother, I don’t agree with her allowing this to happen. It's irresponsible and reckless. There are so many “what ifs” to consider and as a mom, I already have so much responsibility on my shoulders, I wouldn’t make the conscious choice to add to that responsibility."

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