TEENS in car stunt must read classics

Thursday, May 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ A judge ordered four teen-agers to read classics and write book reports for their ``incredibly dangerous'' stunt of trying to jump over a moving car.

Police said the MTV show ``Jackass'' inspired the teens, but the cable music channel said it has never aired a stunt in which someone gets hit by a car. The boys, ages 16 and 17, maintained they were copying no one.

Kenton District Court Judge Martin Sheehan on Wednesday ordered the Independence, Ky., boys to read 12 classics each and turn in a book report every two weeks. He said that for six months, the only television shows they may watch are nightly news programs.

They also must perform 50 to 100 hours of community service, and their drivers' licenses were suspended for a year.

On April 23, a 16-year-old boy broke his leg and ankle trying to jump over a car that his friend was driving, while another teen videotaped the action from the passenger's seat. A tape of the stunt aired on national television.

``What they did was stupid and incredibly dangerous,'' Sheehan said. ``I felt like there should be a consequence for their action, but that it should be tempered because the boys didn't intend for anyone to get hurt.''

The same judge once ordered a man to wear a sign saying he tried to buy sex and got caught.

If the boys don't meet the terms, they could be prosecuted on felony charges of wanton endangerment, punishable in adult court by up to five years in prison.

The stunt prompted Reebok International Inc. to pull a television commercial showing a pro basketball star leaping over an oncoming car.

On ``Jackass,'' which airs late at night on MTV, Johnny Knoxville performs stunts in which he gets banged up in myriad ways. Several young people have been injured in the past few months trying to copy acts they saw on the show.

MTV runs a disclaimer, both orally and in print, at the beginning of each ``Jackass'' episode telling viewers not to re-enact the show's stunts. MTV also says it does not accept tapes submitted by viewers who want to be on ``Jackass.''