A YouTube prankster who was shot by one his targets told jurors Tuesday he had no inkling he had scared or angered the man who fired on him as the prank was recorded.
Tanner Cook, whose “Classified Goons” channel on YouTube has more than 55,000 subscribers, testified nonchalantly about the shooting at start of the trial for 31-year-old Alan Colie, who’s charged with aggravated malicious wounding and two firearms counts.
Jurors also saw video of the shooting, recorded by Cook’s associates. The two interacted for less than 30 seconds. Video shows Cook approaching Colie, a DoorDash driver, as he picked up an order. The 6-foot-5 (1.95-meter-tall) Cook looms over Colie while holding a cellphone about 6 inches (15 centimeters) from Colie’s face. The phone broadcasts the phrase “Hey dips—-, quit thinking about my twinkle” multiple times through a Google Translate app.
On the video, Colie says “stop” three different times and tries to back away from Cook, who continues to advance. Colie tries to knock the phone away from his face before pulling out a gun and shooting Cook in the lower left chest.
Cook, 21, testified Tuesday that he tries to confuse the targets of his pranks for the amusement of his online audience. He said he doesn’t seek to elicit fear or anger, but acknowledged his targets often react that way.
Asked why he didn’t stop the prank despite Colie’s repeated requests, Cook said he “almost did” but not because he sensed fear or anger from Colie. He said Colie simply wasn’t exhibiting the type of reaction Cook was looking for.
So a very large young man, harassed and intimidated another man, shoving something in his face using profanity. Pursuing him and advancing on him after the smaller man told him to stop repeatedly.
Given that, I’d not vote to convict.
The prankster probably deserved that bullet. I hope it hurt a lot. Maybe he won’t do it again.