HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, a 24-year-old YouTuber over 9 million subscribers to his channel, was arrested for trespassing and climbing the Hollywood sign — specifically, the “D.”
Los Angeles City Department of Recreation & Parks officials told Mashable that rangers arrested him Wednesday afternoon, then turned him over to police. An investigation was ongoing.
Officials confirmed that Zdorovetskiy was climbing the “D” in the Hollywood sign while a flag that reads “I’m back.”
He documented his Hollywood sign adventures in Snapchat, where he said: “I’m all the way up, nothing can stop me.”
The YouTuber of Russian decent recently starred in Natural Born Pranksters alongside Roman Atwood and Dennis Roady.
Some fans speculated on Twitter that the stunt could have been promotion for the film, which was released April 1.
Some even tweeted when they spotted Zdorovetskiy, pre-arrest.
This was hardly the first time someone has tried to climb the Hollywood sign and gotten caught. However, Rose Watson, Public Information Officer for LA’s Department of Recreation & Parks, told Mashable it’s the first time she’s seen it happen in recent years.
“We took him into custody because No. 1, he trespassed; and No. 2, he climbed the sign, which is a safety issue,” she said. “But people climbing the Hollywood sign hasn’t been on the list of our notifications in a while.”
Pranks are one of the most popular online video genres: These days, searching for the word “prank” on YouTube will bring up a whopping 21.7 million videos. Vine, too, is overpopulated with six-second videos of digital influencers messing around. According to video analytics firm Tubular Labs, searches for prank-related videos across all social media platforms account for 7 billion views so far this year.
Zdorovetskiy’s arrest is just the latest example of a YouTube prank that has legal repercussions. Just last week, members of a popular YouTube prank account called Trollstation were sentenced to jail time after running around London’s National Portrait Gallery screaming “Get the paintings!” as part of an art gallery heist prank.
In February, three brothers in Melbourne were arrested by counterterrorism authorities after posting 44 videos on YouTube and Facebook dressed in robes perpetrating staged drive-by shootings and bombings.
Last year, Toronto-based YouTube pranksters called “Nelk” were arrested by LAPD after filmed themselves telling officers that they had a “bunch of coke” in the back of their car. As the CBS News headline read: “LAPD Not Laughing Over Pranksters’ Viral ‘Coke’ Gag On Officers.”
Zdorovetskiy is currently busy editing footage.
EDITING NEW VLOG AND NEW MAIN CHANNEL VIDEO!!!
Dropping TODAY!!! <3
— Vitaly Zdorovetskiy (@Vitalyzdtv) May 26, 2016
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