Are TikTok users pretending to be the Kool-Aid Man by running headlong through fences?
Oh yeah, say aggrieved homeowners from Staten Island to Idaho.
The sophomoric stunt — one that’s been documented nationwide since the summer — has TikTokers barreling into property enclosures in destructive homages to the Kool-Aid Man from the brand’s vintage commercials of years past. While the most popular clips show people busting through their own walls — often without the benefit of protective gear — the meme seems to have set off a spree of vandalism among suburban teens.
Neighbors from Westerleigh, Staten Island, say they’re being terrorized by imitators of the mascot for the powdered drink mix. One Westerleigh woman said she fell victim to the prank earlier in November.
The longtime homeowner, who declined to give her name out of fear of retribution by other Kool-Aid Man copycats, told The Post that her fence was left with two baffling, human-height holes.
Confused — and having never experienced any vandalism beyond Halloween pumpkin smashing — she took to the Internet for clues.
“I went on our neighborhood Facebook page and noticed someone posted a video of this happening to them, too. Others commented that they also had their fences damaged by young teens jumping through them,” the woman said, adding that someone on that page flagged the TikTok challenge as a possible explanation.
“It will probably cost me $300 to repair,” she said of the damage. “The most frustrating part is the lack of respect the youth have today, and the unwanted cost it will put on me. Who wants an expense like that during this time of year?”
The Kool-Aid crisis has been smashing through the nation since at least the summer.
John Miller, a Nebraska man who got an unwanted taste of the joke last July, said his repair cost was more than $2,000, according to Fox42 KPTM.
“They need to learn a lesson. Somebody’s either going to get hurt or something worse,” he vented to the TV station.
A whopping 15 cases of people being “Kool-Aided” were reported to police in the suburbs around Omaha, Nebraska, Fox42 reported, adding that it has cost unhappy residents thousands of dollars in damage.
Another news segment, on Idaho’s KVTB7, featured property owner Richard Phillips, who was among the 10 to 15 homeowners targeted in his town of Caldwell.
“What in the world goes through these kids’ minds to drive around so late at night and have the thought process of ‘Oh, I’m going to destroy someone’s fence?’ ” Phillips said to the station, noting his house was hit on two separate occasions over the span of a few weeks and will cost “thousands” to repair.
Police told him a group of rowdy teens was to blame. “They get out of the car long enough to plow through someone’s fence while someone is recording, and they jump in the car and leave.”
In New York, inflicting property damage over $250 is considered third-degree criminal mischief and a Class E felony. But the unamused Westerleigh resident doesn’t think that’s enough to deter aspiring social media stars.
“Even if they were caught, they wouldn’t be held accountable with the way the laws are now. They would probably get a slap on the wrist and no community service.”
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