Suspects identified in Wendy’s employee ‘Smack Cam’ incident

After an employee at an Austin Wendy’s was attacked April 22 when strangers took part in the rising Internet video trend known as “Smack Cam” — which involves someone slapping an unsuspecting victim and catching it on film — three suspects were identified Friday by the APD.

The victim, 16-year-old Calaybra Jones, said the suspects spoke inaudibly while pretending to place an order before slapping her across the face when she leaned forward to hear them better. Two teenage males participated in the crime inside the Wendy’s on the 1400 block of Anderson Lane — one slapping Jones and one filming the incident — while a woman waited in a car outside the restaurant. Jones also said she believes she would not have been subjected to the assault if she were male.

“I’m just angry that they would pick me,” Jones said. “They wouldn’t have done it if it was a boy up here, but they chose me.”

The incident is still under investigation by APD. Steven Mumma, the APD detective for the case, said no decisions have been made at this time in regards to sentencing or official charges.

“In this case, we are looking at the possibility of an ‘Assault’ charge,” Mumma said in an email. “An ‘Assault’ can range from a low misdemeanor to a high felony depending on the extent of the injuries. There are other possible charges that the D.A.’s Office may consider, and I’m working with them in addition to a juvenile prosecutor to determine what may be applicable.”

Jones said she is waiting to hear what charges will be brought up against the identified suspects.

“I just hope that the young ones realize that it’s not right,” Jones said. “For the older one, I hope that she gets a harsher punishment so she really gets that … it wasn’t okay.”

Advertising sophomore Augustus Young said he recalls “Smack Cam” being popular on the smartphone video app Vine and said he believes the incident was motivated by the common desire to gain “likes.”

“It is usually a very innocent prank pulled on friends and videotaped to be posted online,” Young said. “There is a difference between doing a ‘Smack Cam’ with your friends and with an unsuspecting employee who did not give consent. To me this is just a miscalculation by a few social media users that didn’t think their actions through.”

The original “Smack Cam” video, which was posted on Austin rapper Kade Fresco’s YouTube channel, has now been removed. Biology sophomore Christopher Zemlicka said the situation could have turned out much worse for the perpetrators.

“Those guys are lucky that the employee didn’t chase after them and do something in retaliation, like starting a fight,” Zemlicka said. “She did the right thing by allowing the Austin Police Department to take care of everything.”

Jones said she appreciates the help she has received from city officials.

“I’m just grateful that the city of Austin has helped me through this, because it made me really embarrassed,” Jones said.