2 guilty of endangering man with autism in ocean-jump prank


MANASQUAN, N.J. (AP) — Two New Jersey men have been found guilty of endangering the welfare of an incompetent person by coaxing a man with autism to jump into a freezing ocean in a prank posted online.

A judge found 22-year-old Nicholas Formica and 21-year-old Christopher Tilton guilty on Tuesday.

Authorities say the pair in February 2015 dared 20-year-old Parker Drake to eat a hamster for money, walk into the ocean for two packs of cigarettes or jump from the jetty for the cigarettes and $20. Drake refused the first two options but agreed to jump into the jetty.

The defense argued Drake made a choice.

Drake asked the judge not to send Formica to jail. The judge sentenced him to 90 days of community service instead.

Tilton got 60 days of community service.