Kentucky Teenager Austin Whaley Can't Say 'Bingo' For 6 Months, Judge Rules

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A Kentucky teenager’s seemingly innocent prank has gotten him into some legal trouble.

A northern Kentucky judge has ruled that 18-year-old Austin Whaley can’t say the word “bingo” for the next six months, the Associated Press reports. Apparently, Whaley was penalized for his antics at a Covington bingo hall.

Police Sgt. Richard Webster was working security at the bingo hall when Whaley and a group of his friends began to cause trouble, allegedly interrupting the game for several minutes by falsely yelling "bingo" and upsetting several players, the Associated Press reports. Webster decided to take action, citing the teenager for second-degree disorderly conduct.

“Just like you can’t run into a theater and yell ‘fire’ when it’s not on fire, you can’t run into a crowded bingo hall and yell ‘bingo’ when there isn’t one,” Webster told Northern Kentucky News.

Luckily for Whaley, Judge Douglas Grothaus thought that jail time would be a bit too harsh of a punishment. Instead, Grothaus ruled that his days of crying “bingo” were over—at least for the next six months.

According to the Associated Press, Grothaus told the Kentucky Enquirer that Whaley’s clean record and status “as a good kid” led him to issue a light sentence. He also told the court that they needed to lighten up a bit.

“With all the other things that happen in the court system and the families you’re dealing with, you’ve got to keep a sense of humor,” Grothaus added.

In this case, news outlets have certainly kept their sense of humor. The Huffington Post joked “screaming 'bingo' was his shame-o” while MSN wrote “Never get between old ladies and their bingo.”

At least Whaley will have a great story for his kids.

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