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Three teens face criminal charges after exposing allergic classmate to pineapple juice

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, 6:39 a.m.
Butler Intermediate High School
Butler Intermediate High School

Girls playing the "high five" game in a Butler County school deliberately exposed a classmate to pineapple juice, knowing she has a serious allergy to it, police said.

Police said one of them soaked her hand in pineapple juice and made the rounds in the Butler Intermediate High School lunch room, high-fiving other children, until she got to the 14-year-old victim, the Trib's news partner, WPXI-TV, reported.

"This was an intentional act," Butler Township police Lt. Matt Pearson said. "They sat at the lunch table right next to her and talked about doing it. Some had reservations, but they went through with it."

Police said two 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old devised the plan, knowing the victim was allergic and could go into anaphylactic shock, which she did.

Pineapple is not allowed on the cafeteria menu. The fruit cup in question was brought in a bagged lunch.

One student overheard what happened and immediately went to the victim and told her, police said. She went to the nurse for her Epipen, but was rushed to the hospital, where she recovered.

"It is our expectation that our students respect themselves and others. When that does not occur, the district will take appropriate discipline action and if appropriate contact law enforcement," Butler Area Superintendent Brian White said in a statement.

The 14-year-old girl accused of exposing the girl to the pineapple is charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault, reckless endangerment, harassment and disorderly conduct.

The other two students were each charged with criminal conspiracy, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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