USC Sues YouTube Pranksters Over 'Panic-Inducing Takeovers'

YouTubers are accused of disrupting multiple classes on California campus
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2022 1:40 AM CDT
USC Sues YouTube Pranksters Over 'Panic-Inducing' Jokes
The icons of Google, WhatsApp and YouTube are pictured on an iPhone on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Two YouTubers have been issued a temporary restraining order to stay away from the University of Southern California campus after they allegedly pranked classes at the Los Angeles school. Ernest "Eric" Kanevsky and Yuguo Bai, who are being sued by USC, most recently disrupted a lecture on the Holocaust on March 29, according to the university's Annenberg Media. Bai pretended to be a student (in reality, neither man attends the school), and Kanevsky walked in pretending to be a member of the Russian mafia. He asked if Hugo Boss was in the room (Boss, a fashion designer, was a Nazi supporter and made uniforms for the Nazis, the Guardian reports) and Bai claimed to be Boss. Kanevsky said Bai owed him money and they got in a verbal altercation at the front of the classroom, causing students to panic and run from the room.

Kanevsky and Bai were arrested by LAPD officers, and now USC is suing to keep them off campus and to be reimbursed for damages and attorney fees. Two other "panic-inducing takeovers" were also allegedly carried out by the men at USC last year, the Daily Trojan reports, and Cal State University Long Beach reported a similar incident in 2020. "The defendants’ conduct has caused University students to experience emotional distress and genuine fear for their personal wellbeing; against the national background of active shooter concerns on college campuses," the school says in its suit. An April 28 hearing will determine whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against the men, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. (More University of Southern California stories.)

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