KEY POINTS

  • The man who pranked police was identified as Maurício Vieira Izumi, 29
  • Izumi was charged with violating a preventive health measure and a false alarm
  • He is likely to face one month to one year in jail

A Brazilian man who was upset with the local beach ban due to strict COVID-19 restrictions used a mannequin to prank police. He was fined this week and is likely to face prison time.

The man, who was identified as Maurício Vieira Izumi, 29, by Brazil’s Secretary of Security Affairs, left a mannequin on a beach in the city of Praia Grande on March 23 in the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo. 

After placing the mannequin, the man stood at a distance and recorded the reaction of the police. Cops patrolling the shoreline beach approached the mannequin, mistaking it for a maskless woman, but were bamboozled to find out that it wasn’t real, according to Brazilian outlet A Tribuna.

Beaches have been shut down since March 15 as a government measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

A video showed the mannequin, dressed as a woman and wearing a hat, standing on the beach as a Municipal Civil Guards (MGM) vehicle approaches. A police officer is then seen waving to the mannequin that looked like a real person.

Realizing that it was a joke, cops are then seen driving off to continue their patrol. The man behind the prank was reportedly identified with the help of surveillance footage before being fined. The exact penalty amount wasn’t known.

Praia Grande City Hall slammed the man for performing the mean prank. "The Municipal Administration reinforces that this type of attitude only hinders the inspection and guidance work carried out by the teams. It also asks that people collaborate with the actions of the City Hall in this very important moment to combat the pandemic of COVID-19," authorities said in a statement.

Izumi was charged with violating a preventive health measure and a false alarm, which is a felony. He is likely to face one month to one year in jail.

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