A new TikTok “door kicking” challenge has gotten the attention of law enforcement who are warning of serious consequences for those involved.
The popular TikTok prank, which involves kicking someone’s door while a popular Kesha song plays, has spread from college dorms to residential neighborhoods, and is causing concern among the community and law enforcement.
Jennifer Pritchard of the Petaluma Police Department gave a warning in an interview with FOX KTVU.
“We don’t want students harmed and we don’t want community members to overreact,” she said.
Pritchard has gone on social media and contacted school officials to warn of the trend.
“Homeowners have been angry that their property was damaged and they have called our dispatch center and asked us to respond,” she said after two 911 calls were made over the Thanksgiving holiday over the incident.
Indeed, KTVU reported that one door was damaged so badly, it cost in the hundreds to repair it. Surveillance video from the house showed the culprit: a young person participating in the video challenge.
“You can see why this activity could be scary to a homeowner who could think it’s a real home invasion,” Pritchard explained. “Parents can help their children understand they should not participate and we also want the community know they shouldn’t react with a violent response.”
Other recent TikTok challenges have had similar unwholesome actions and motives, such as slapping a teacher or vandalizing school property to receive more views.
Students like Lino Gomez-Fernandez, 13, see the ramifications of social media in their own school almost every day.
“A soap dispenser was stolen from our school bathroom so we see the effects, but my friends and I don’t do these,” he said.
“It’s just common sense if a kid sees one of these dares, because kicking in a door is illegal, a crime and you could get punished or fined or even jail time,” the student remarked sensibly.
Others don’t blame TikTok, but rather bad parenting as the cause of these dangerous pranks.
“I will not blame TikTok, it’s just a sign of our times,” David Gomez-Rosado said. “Because those type of dares have always been with us, always been dangerous, but seem amplified, because of social media.”
While TikTok has been under increasing pressure to punish accounts that upload such content, the Petaluma Police are getting the word out to the public to let them know they’re watching, and there may be severe consequences punishable by law.
“You’re crossing someone’s threshold and you are banging on their door in a world where home invasions are not unusual,” cautioned Pritchard. “That puts safety at risk and that is not a good idea for anyone.”
“These are criminal acts, vandalism, breaking and entering, and property damage and punishable by law,” Pritchard concluded.