A YouTube livestreamer who goes by the name “Arab Andy” was arrested Thursday night near the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle after he walked into a classroom and played audio of a “text-to-speech” message from a viewer that sounded like a bomb threat, sending students fleeing in terror. He streamed the entire incident — right up to his arrest — live on YouTube.
Text-to-speech donations allow viewers to donate a specific dollar amount to have their message or pre-recorded audio play on speakers as the livestreamer walks around and films.
YouTube has since taken the video down, citing a terms of service violation, but mirrors are still available to watch.
According to MyNorthWest.com, the building was evacuated at around 5:30 p.m. and the Quad at UW was briefly blocked off while police and firefighters investigated. The Quad was reopened less than an hour later when it was determined that there was no bomb.
The original 39-minute video features Andy walking into classes (as racial epithets play over his speakers) while talking with people watching and commenting on his livestream. At one point, a teacher throws him out of his class. The mirror below shows him walking into a sociology classroom and sitting down in the back.
“Hi, guys, sorry I’m late,” he whispers to the people in the room.
“Is this where you are supposed to be?” a person off camera asks.
“I think so,” he answers.
His speakers then play an audio clip from one of his viewers that the entire room can hear: “Attention. C4 has been successfully activated. Bomb detonation countdown successfully started.” Then a series of ominous-sounding beeps are heard.
“Oh my God!” a woman can be heard shouting, as the class bolts out of the room and the fire alarm sounds.
“Oh my God,” he giggles after the room clears. “We got to go. guys …. Holy sh*t … Holy f*ck … Dude, you cannot get a better reaction than that,” he says gleefully.
Arab Andy then walks out of the building and off campus. He continues to film as police and fire trucks begin to arrive.
“Holy sh*t, dude. It’s not even a bomb, guys,” he says in the original video, at this point perhaps suspecting that maybe he has gone too far. “Prank gone wrong, guys. It wasn’t even a prank, dude.”
The video then shows police officers accosting him and demanding that he get down on the ground.
“Hey! Get on the ground right now!” an officer cries.
“Why? What’s going on? I’m recording, bro, if you are going to shoot me,” Arab Andy says.
“Get on the ground,” the officer repeats. “Don’t make any sudden moves.”
“What are you doing, bro? Put the gun down. What are you doing, bro?” Andy exclaims, finally realizing that his prank has gone seriously wrong.
“That’s fine … record all you want. That’s totally fine,” an officer says. “You are being contacted in relation to a bomb threat … on the ground. Lay on the ground.”
“What’d I do?” Andy asks again. “I didn’t do nothing, bro,” he insists. “That was DTS, that was a donation.”
“On. the. ground. NOW,” the officer repeats irritably. The cop instructs Andy to lay down on his stomach and put his phone down and put his arms behind his back. He then moves in to cuff the YouTuber.
“Come on, bro, I didn’t do anything, bro,” Andy insists. “Bro? Look at the video, bro, I recorded it.”
“Good,” the officer says flatly.
“This is F*cked bro. You’re going to arrest me for nothing, bro. Come on, stop, bro. That’s not fair, bro. Bro? Bro, stop. Listen, bro. I’m sorry, listen, bro. This is like assault, bro. This is a YouTube livestream, bro. It was a donation. It was a donation to media. Somebody donated two bucks and it played some sh*t.” He adds, “This is messed up, bro.”
The video went dark after the police took his camera, but audio could still be heard of Andy complaining and an officer saying that he was being detained.
Viewers in the livestream began commenting that “cops are racists and that Arab Andy did nothing,” while the YouTuber was being detained.
They play anti-cop music. Other commenters play “Bomb countdown started” audio clips. Other audio clips continue, telling the cops to kill themselves and that they are pigs.
Other videos on Arab Andy’s YouTube channel have him engaging in the same shtick at other venues and somehow getting away with it.