Teen dies 'imitating Jackass movie stunt'

Time of article published Dec 18, 2002

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Albuquerque, New Mexico - A teenager trying a stunt inspired by Jackass: The Movie was killed after he tried to hold onto a moving pickup truck and was instead thrown from the vehicle, police said on Tuesday.

But the makers of the film denied that there was any stunt in the movie similar to the one that killed Stephen Paul Rauen, 15, on Monday.

Rauen had jumped onto the hood of a moving pickup truck driven by a teenage friend. He was thrown to the ground from the truck when the driver slammed on the brakes and was dragged under the vehicle for a short distance.

"The investigation revealed that they were mimicking a so-called stunt that they had observed in the movie Jackass," said Albuquerque police spokesperson Detective Jeff Arbogast.

Rauen died at the scene of head injuries suffered in the incident, Arbogast said. The driver, a 17-year-old boy, has been interviewed by police but a decision on whether to charge him has not yet been made.

"We're sorry to hear that this unfortunate incident has happened. No matter how a tragedy occurs, it's especially horrible when a young person is involved," MTV said in a statement.

"But there has never been a stunt in the Jackass movie or television show that is like the one described in this incident," the network said.

Last month, Seattle police said a 15-year-old boy suffered serious burns when he set himself on fire trying to re-enact a stunt from MTV's controversial TV show Jackass.

The teen from a Seattle suburb had soaked his shirt in alcohol and ignited it while his friends stood by shooting video footage they reportedly planned to sell.

Jackass, the television series, aired in 2000 and 2001. MTV and Viacom's movie studio Paramount Pictures released the movie version in United States theatres earlier this year and the film made almost $64-million (about R583-million) in its domestic run.

Jackass gained a loyal fan base on the youth-oriented MTV channel by pushing the envelope for absurd behaviour and stunts.

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