This whole “reality” TV thing has gone too far. Yes, we know this statement was made long ago, but still we have people who are famous for being their obnoxious selves. And there are so many that still want to be on TV that they would do just about anything.
For example, there was a recent robbery in Indiana, Pennsylvania where Randall Smith and Artie Goodwine allegedly told two men that they were filming a reality TV show called “You Just Got Robbed,” according to the Associated Press. During the robbery, one of them put the two men in headlocks while the other recorded it on his cellphone. The two made off with all of $20 before being arrested.
All that is required for a robbery is the theft of personal property from another through violence or threat of bodily injury. Robbery is a specific intent crime, meaning that if you did not intend to take the property by force, or were so drunk to not know what you were doing then you would likely have to be charged with a different crime.
Here, the question is raised whether Smith and Goodwine really meant to rob the two men or if it was a prank gone wrong. There is no evidence that they were drunk or otherwise under the influence of drugs. But what if they did not mean to actually take anything?
If their intent was only to scare the men and it just so happened that they were given $20, then there would be a chance of only being guilty of battery. However, given the facts reported, Smith and Goodwine's actions fit well within the definition of a robbery, because they attacked someone with a headlock and took their personal property.
Even if the two men actually wanted to be on television, consenting to being robbed is not a defense. So when you're pitching your next robbery reality show, be sure that you would not be committing any crimes when actually filming it and realize that you won't really be able to fool anyone with that ruse.