Law enforcement not amused by water plunge stunt

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BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (AP) - Law enforcement and rescue personnel say a seemingly harmless act linked to charity has potentially dangerous consequences.

An online trend across the Midwest has teens and even adults taking what’s called the “cold water challenge” and jumping into icy cold lakes, rivers and ponds in the name of charity.

But it has caused serious injuries to a Wisconsin teen and sent first responders in Minnesota searching the dark waters of the Mississippi River for a man who took the challenge and jumped off a bridge in a Twin Cities suburb.

Participants have 24 or 48 hours to record themselves jumping into the water and then posting the video online, otherwise, they need to make a $100 donation to a charity.

A Laconia High School junior Kayla Jacob is recovering from muscle and ligament damage in her knee after taking the challenge from a friend and jumping into Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago, where she landed on a clump of razor-sharp zebra mussel shells.

Her injuries will require months of healing and physical therapy, Kayla’s father, Trevor Jacob told Action Reporter Media (http://fondul.ac/1kSHjGZ). The stunt will cost the 16-year-old softball standout the remainder of her high school softball season as well as the summer softball season and running with the cross-country team this fall.

“Some kids have learned from Kayla’s accident, but I don’t think a lot of kids are taking this seriously,” Kayla’s mother, Angela Jacob, said.

In Minnesota, the man who jumped from the Highway 610 bridge in Brooklyn Park on Wednesday night was wearing a life jacket. The search by air and by water involving numerous law enforcement agencies was called off after authorities saw the video of his jump that he had posted online.

“In this particular case, the river was flowing fast, it’s night, there was a strong current and obstacles in the river that can be dangerous,” Brooklyn Park Police inspector Mark Bruley, told the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1jIn6Wr ). “As first responders, we know we are going to put ourselves as risk . but I don’t unnecessarily want to put our staff in these situations.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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