'Granny-spinning' thug arrested in Romania

Teenager taunted critics on Facebook


Still from video of 'granny-spinning' assaut

A seventeen-year-old thug is set to be fined just £30 after a video spread on Facebook showing him swinging a pensioner around by her shoulders.

Romanian police confirmed to Metro that the teenager had been arrested for disturbing public order, but said his victim was too terrified to make a statement.

The video shows a group of young men standing outside a bar in the Romanian town of Jilava. One grabs the old lady, lifts her off her feet and spins her around. The group then laughs uproariously as the woman stumbles away.

As the young man flexes his muscles, his friends urge him to spin the woman again, which he does, leaving her visibly distressed.

As the video spread quickly on social media over the weekend, Facebook users identified the perpetrator as Eu Geo Offycyall, or 'I'm Geo, Official Page'. His profile has since been taken down, but not before he commented on the video.

"It was just a joke. She wasn't dying," he wrote. "If you don't like it, I'll give you my phone number and you can call me."

The video has also been removed from YouTube, but stills are still circulating on the web. Encouragingly, though, most commenters express shock and outrage.

"Hey, want to watch a couple of 'bored men' violently swing a helpless old woman around by her coat for a few minutes?" says one. "If you answered 'no', then of course you don't, because that's not entertaining. If you answered 'yes', then congratulations, you are a horrible person."

If convicted, the thug will face only a £30 fine - just a couple of days' average pay. But the fact that the authorities have acted so swiftly may prevent the assault becoming a craze, like the so-called 'happy slapping' that took off in the UK in 2005.

Gang members would slap a stranger and record their reaction on a phone camera, often posting the video online. Attacks became more and more vicious until the craze finally died out after three or four years.

Other internet video crazes have been less unpleasant for others - but have caused harm to the pranksters themselves. Planking, for example - where people lie flat on unlikely objects or unlikely places - has claimed at least one victim, after an Australian man fell from a balcony.

More obviously dangerous is the craze for 'ghost-riding', in which drivers put their car in neutral and climb on to the roof. As many as eight deaths have been recorded in the US.