Texas police believe they have identified and spoken to a juvenile who was shown in a viral video licking a half-gallon tub of Blue Bell ice cream and then putting it back inside a store freezer case.
The Lufkin Police Department will not release the suspect's name, citing anonymity laws for juvenile offenders, according to a Friday statement sent to USA TODAY. The case is now being transferred to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
The suspect is from San Antonio and has ties to the Lufkin, Texas, area through her boyfriend's family, the statement said.
The Lufkin Police Department was contacted Wednesday by Blue Bell Creameries after the Texas-based company "instructed all of its division managers to see if they could identify the store location" where the incident took place, the police department said via Facebook on Wednesday.
A division manager determined the video was shot at a Walmart in Lufkin due to "the store’s unique merchandising, which matched the video," police said.
In a statement emailed to USA TODAY earlier this week, Lufkin police wrote, "Tampering with a consumer product is a second-degree felony and carries a punishment range of 2-20 years. The department is consulting with the FDA and federal charges may also be pending."
While Blue Bell believes it retrieved the tub of ice cream licked by the suspect, the company has removed all half-gallon containers of "Tin Roof" from Walmart, police said.
“We’re appalled that someone would do this. We take it incredibly seriously and we’re acting on it as the major crime that it is," Lufkin Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson said in a statement, labeling the video as "disturbing."
The video, which was posted to Twitter on June 29, has been viewed more than 11 million times. Lufkin police obtained surveillance video that shows an individual who matches the description of the juvenile in the video leaving the Lufkin Walmart at around 11 p.m. June 28.
"The safety of our ice cream is our highest priority, and we work hard to maintain the highest level of confidence of our customers," Blue Bell said in a statement to USA TODAY. "Food tampering is not a joke, and we will not tolerate tampering with our products. We are grateful to the customers who alerted us and provided us with information."
Contributing: Joshua Bote, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas police believe they have found ice cream licker from viral video