'Instagram influencer' is charged with endangering life after throwing chair off a balcony
The things people will do for followers on social media these days never ceases to amaze me. As you scroll down your Instagram feed, you'll eventually find somebody doing something stupid. It'll be there - right in between your ex's bikini shots from the vacation she took to Thailand a year ago (#TakeMeBack) and your brother's 17th gym selfie of the week.
Now, meet 19-year-old Marcella Zoia, an "Instagram influencer" who decided to entertain her 4,000+ followers on the image-sharing site by throwing a chair off the 45th-floor balcony of an Airbnb rental unit.
Very rock and roll - I bet she thinks she's Rod Stewart! Check out the shocking footage in the video below:
The incident took place in downtown Toronto at around 10am on Saturday morning, and caused public outrage after the video was widely shared and viewed across social media.
The video is captioned "Good morning", and shows the moment Zoia hurls a chair over the balcony, as the camera follows its plummet to the ground. The chair sailed past a busy highway, and eventually landed near the front entrance of the condo at 55 Bremner Boulevard.
After tips from the public identified the "Instagram influencer", Detective Todd Higo of the Toronto police said that Zoia did turn herself in upon request. And although nobody was hurt in the incident, Zoia has been charged with mischief endangering life, mischief endangering property, and common nuisance.
Zoia was also released on a $2,000 bail and ordered to temporarily stay with her mother, whilst avoiding any contact with four other individuals who were also involved in the stunt.
Following the public backlash, Zoia has since deleted both her Instagram account and Facebook page, and, through her lawyer, issued an apology. "She is embarrassed by what happened. She wished it never happened. Of course, she would never wish anyone would be hurt," said Greg Leslie, Zoia's attorney.
Leslie also said Zoia understands the public outrage, and that she only went along with the stunt because she was under pressure from her peers. The lawyer also said that he is hopeful the case will not go to trial.
Airbnb has also spoken out, saying that Zoia has never personally used the service, and so suspended the account of the guest who booked the reservation at the complex. As well as confirming their full support in working with the Toronto police, Airbnb also released the following statement:
"We are outraged by the blatant disregard for community safety on display in the video. We will be suspending any guest’s accounts that appear to be connected to this incident."
According to the Daily Mail, an old school friend, Jenna Periti, who has known Zoia from their time at St. Elizabeth Catholic High School, in Thornhill, Ontario, said that this video "does not do her justice", and that Zoia is a "smart girl".
"She's a bright girl but sometimes she likes to hang out with people who like to get involved in the wrong things", Periti said.
I think we call all agree that throwing a chair off a balcony isn't very "bright", so don't you try doing this for followers.