YouTube celebrity’s coin prank video goes off the tracks

PHOTO: The Nation/ANN

BANGKOK - YouTube prankster and social media celebrity Nate Bartling, better known as My Mate Nate, continues to court controversy.

After he previously organised, recorded and posted a fight between his own cat and a scorpion, cat lovers sought police action against him, alleging animal cruelty.

More than 120,000 people signed a petition to have him arrested. This time he has turned to train tracks and currency.

In his latest video, he and a friend are seen on a railway track, saying they want to test the strength of coins to find out which country's coins are the strongest.

Viewers see him placing coins in rows along the tracks and waiting for a train.

They stepped back from the tracks when the train came and after it passed they picked up the flattened coins that left some marks on the track.

When the video was posted, it attracted mostly negative opinions. Some criticised him for searching for fame or having nothing to do.

Among them was a Facebook user under the name of "Team Nang Rod Fai Kub Nai Hammun" who warned that coins on a railway track could possibly lead to derailing of a train.

A large number of Facebook users shared the post and Bartling responded by citing a scientific study to support his claim that coins could not lead to a derailment.

Bartling was adamant that his experiment was harmless while Team Nang Rod Fai Kub Nai Hammun stood by his comment.

However, Bartling said he agreed to delete the video and the page host said it also agreed to delete the statements.

Its admin team said it talked to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and agreed that SRT would be the only party making a statement on the coin testing issue.

The situation seemed to end happily until SRT deputy governor Thanongsak Pongprasert gave an interview in which he said that Bartling's acts broke the Railway Act and would be punishable in civil and criminal courts.

"Although placing coins on railway tracks did not cause any damage to a train, it would probably lead to copy-cat behaviour that could lead to an accident.

"I already assigned the train police bureau to study the video clip to determine where the incident happened. Those in the clip will be summonsed for questioning and face legal action."

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