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Posted at 8:26 AM ET, 07/22/2010

Peanut butter slathered over Va. park

By Mike McPhate

The Loudoun County's Sheriff's Department is investigating a bizarre incident at an Ashburn park after peanut butter was found smeared onto swings, monkey bars, benches and other playground equipment Tuesday.

The vandalism in the area’s Broadlands section, first reported by WTOP, sparked outrage from parents of kids with potentially life-threatening allergies to peanuts.

“This is not harmless, nor is it funny -- it could cost an innocent child their life!” one person wrote on an online forum where parents discussed the incident.

Sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell told WTOP the incident may have just been a very ill-advised prank "for the gross out factor.”

Crews have since scrubbed the playground clean and removed slathered swing chains, Maureen Burns, of the Broadlands Homeowners Association, told WTOP.

-- Mike McPhate


By Mike McPhate  | July 22, 2010; 8:26 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Virginia  
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Comments

...it's summer. Kids are bored, gimme a break.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | July 22, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Call me silly but kids with peanut allergies won't have a reaction by merely touching peanut butter....studpid, just stupid

Posted by: gregmsu | July 22, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Gregmsu: Actually, touching it can triggeer a fatal reaction in highly intolerant/reactive children, as can breathing "aerosolized" materials. Both can trigger an anaphylactic response, which causes the child to have constricted airways, dizziness, severe blood pressure drop, and, unfortunately, frequently death (if no Epi-pen available).

Just saying...

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | July 22, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

There is a direct correlation between peanut 'allergies' and parental nuisance.

Posted by: 123cartoon | July 22, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

It's an obvious terror plot executed by the conservative right to attack innocent children who are allergic to peanuts to make the Obama administration look more inept.
Come on...its so easy to see!

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | July 22, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

It's an obvious terror plot executed by the conservative right to attack innocent children who are allergic to peanuts to make the Obama administration look more inept.
Come on...its so easy to see!
The only question left to answer is smooth or chunky.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | July 22, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

If peanut better elicits this kind of response, I'd hate to think what would happen with other more widely toxic materials. (Hopefully an equal, if not more vociferous, outrage.)

Posted by: cfow1 | July 22, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

life threatening or not, this is hilarious.

Posted by: kinkywithknives | July 22, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Ridiculous! Parents w/ kids w/ peanut allergy should be issued a citation for not feeding their kids enough of the yummy stuff as babies, to produce anti-bodies for it. Instead they want to throw the books at kids doing what kids do. Instead of a public park, would they perhaps their holmes be directly targeted, by being tp'd? Even if the kids had used grape jelly, folks would STILL be equally appauled. Gimme a break, spoiled-over priveleged-parents of Asburn, VA. SHAME ON YOU. Now go get a REAL life. One that includes peanut butter. WORD.

Posted by: The_Funknician | July 22, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

An (adult) friend of mine has a peanut allergy and actually starts to get itchy when she smells peanuts on someone's breath. It's real, it's deadly, and she's had to go to the ER many times for ingesting things accidentally that had peanuts in them.

Posted by: whitneyuevans | July 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I am just sick of these parents and kids with their dang peanut allergies. It's your kids problem not everyone elses! You can't even send peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school anymore because their little brats might touch it. It was a prank, not a felony. It's washed off so get over it or don't go to the park. Are you going to tell a kid they can't eat a pb&j sandwich at the park because they may get on the slide next?

Posted by: BigElle | July 22, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

another american moment of over parenting and over concern...a very small incident turning into a fiasco.

Wow, and i think about the families in Iraq, Sudan, etc....that sleep on dirt floors.

Oh to be an American-

Posted by: weaverf | July 22, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

As a parent of a child who has mercifully outgrown his peanut allergy, I totally understand the perspective of parents. Yes, peanut allergies are a pain in the neck for non-allergic people. But for the peanut-allergic child, it's not just a pain in the neck, it's really life and death. And yes, just touching peanut butter is enough to trigger a reaction in some kids. Toddlers in particular are at great risk, as you can easily imagine. A little of the "Walk a mile in their shoes" is in order.

Posted by: StaffyOwner | July 22, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I think we need a Congressional investigation into this. Our government can fix ANYTHING!

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | July 22, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Guess we can't blame the Hamburglar.

Posted by: UnknownHenson | July 22, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a pretty stupid example of vandalism, not just because of the potential for an allergic reaction but also because it's just plain messy. But having said that, this peanut allergy hysteria has got to stop. Can anyone cite a single verifiable incident where a child died from touching peanut butter?

Posted by: naltoidaddict1 | July 22, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse


Anyone allergic enough to die from simply touching peanut butter needs to be removed from the gene pool anyway.

Posted by: nuke41 | July 22, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

This appears to be result of another Chinese Communist plot to disable American children.

For years the U.S. has imported billions of dollars' worth of lead-laden toys, clothing, food stuffs, and other items, all part of a program to dull and damage the brains of our kids and impair their imaginations and creative abilities.

It follows, then, doesn't it, that the peanut butter smearing is part of a test to determine if widespread(!) use of this technique can serve to cause more damage to our young ones?

Posted by: kinkysr | July 22, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I smell a terrorist plot.  First it’s anthrax in envelopes; now it’s smothering the jungle gym with peanut butter.

Posted by: widmvo | July 22, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I smell a terrorist plot.  First it’s anthrax in envelopes; now it’s smothering the jungle gym with peanut butter.

Posted by: widmvo | July 22, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Stop using peanut butter as a weapon! Its probably the Nutella industry just trying to supplant peanuts with hazel nuts in the American diet.
Buy Nutella...it won't kill you like peanut butter.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | July 22, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Whatever, if your kid has a negative reaction to peanut butter, keep him in the house.

Posted by: Special_One40 | July 22, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I bet you it was an illegal immigrant. Thanks obamacare!!!!!

Posted by: BurtReynolds1 | July 22, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

the link to the broadlands forum makes it all worth it! "malicious act of violence!" are they serious or just lonely and bored housewives who have nothing to complain about??

Posted by: ryancwakefield | July 22, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I see both sides

I have a child with peanut butter allergies but she's a teen and not playing on swings. She's affected if she ingests it, so it wouldn't affect me the same as it would if she were harmed by touching it. I also see the prank as a prank.

As long as no child was injured, my concern would be 'who pays to clean this up?'.

Posted by: kahlua87 | July 22, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I am dumber for having read most of the comments above.

Posted by: Cab5 | July 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

This is news? WTF?

Keep the peanutphobes in a bubble, or will it soon be a hate crime to drop trail mix?

Posted by: jiji1 | July 22, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, jiji1, for proving my point.

Posted by: Cab5 | July 22, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who think it's silly for parents to get upset about this are woefully ignorant. Hopefully, you don't have kids if you don't understand the danger.

Posted by: SAHM | July 22, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I saw who did it. He was wearing a top hat, gloves, a monocle, and carrying a cane.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 22, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

People are sick and wasteful. What a dumb society we live in.

Posted by: FiatBooks | July 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If kids are so defective that they can't be in the same city block as a peanut, they need to be aborted.

Posted by: jiji1 | July 22, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

In all seriousness I'm glad that no children who may have been allergic to peanuts were affected by this.
Still not sure its newsworthy but, nonetheless glad no kids were injured.
Sounds like bored kids trying to shoot something for YouTube.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | July 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Kids that would die from touching peanut butter shouldn't be living, for evolution's sake.

Posted by: kenk3 | July 22, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@ kenk3 ; you shouldn't be living for stupidity

Posted by: mchapman100 | July 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

nuke41:

So wrong but so funny!

+1

Posted by: Ken_Davis1 | July 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I blame the giant rodents who have car-jacked and are riding around in the Kia Soul.

Posted by: nan_lynn | July 22, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Mere touch cannot cause a fatal reaction. Here is a link
http://www.springerlink.com/content/976257231488gj65/
All vandalism should be punished, However, there should be no additional punishment based on allergies in this case.
No one is morally responsible for keeping surfaces free of something as common as peanut residue. Peanut-allergic (and parents) are solely morally responsible for keeping themselves safe.

Posted by: happiness1535 | July 22, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

"Ridiculous! Parents w/ kids w/ peanut allergy should be issued a citation for not feeding their kids enough of the yummy stuff as babies, to produce anti-bodies for it. Instead they want to throw the books at kids doing what kids do. Instead of a public park, would they perhaps their holmes be directly targeted, by being tp'd? Even if the kids had used grape jelly, folks would STILL be equally appauled. Gimme a break, spoiled-over priveleged-parents of Asburn, VA. SHAME ON YOU. Now go get a REAL life. One that includes peanut butter. WORD."
-The_Funknician

So by YOUR logic the parents should have killed their children at birth by feeding them large quantities of something they are allergic to... brilliant. Personally I'd much rather have my house TP'd than have kids die because some thoughtless vandal smeared something a kid is allergic to on a playground... and your grape jelly comment is also rather thoughtless... FAIL.


"I am just sick of these parents and kids with their dang peanut allergies. It's your kids problem not everyone elses! You can't even send peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to school anymore because their little brats might touch it. It was a prank, not a felony. It's washed off so get over it or don't go to the park. Are you going to tell a kid they can't eat a pb&j sandwich at the park because they may get on the slide next?"
-BigElle

Oh boo hoo YOU are sick of kids with peanut butter allergies. Somebody call the whaaaaaambulance! Sure, it's a harmless prank until someone dies from it. Yeah, a kid can die from being partially exposed to peanut butter if their allergies are that bad... but sure just to keep you from being inconvenienced let's just look the other way... real thoughtful of you. I'd hate to see how you'd be if YOUR kids had peanut allergies.

"Anyone allergic enough to die from simply touching peanut butter needs to be removed from the gene pool anyway."
-nuke41

Just like the mouth breathing idiots who post such crap as above...

Some of you people just make me sick - seriously people who post comments like the ones I quoted and who actually think this way are the ones who need to be put in a bubble or stay inside their homes so the lack of common sense, common courtesy, and compassion can be locked away from the rest of us. Honestly you "people" ought to be ashamed of yourselves or at the very least get over yourselves.

Posted by: athynz | July 23, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I saw a peanut on the floor of a Metro train today.

I DEMAND an immediate federal criminal investigation! Metro must be shut down immediately and searched for any more of the offensive peanuts! No piece of garbage may be left unturned in this quest!

Save us from the TERRORIST PEANUT!

Posted by: jiji1 | July 23, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Athynz, I was thinking the same, but you wrote it so much better. Stories like this bring the ignorant trolls out to play.
There is more to this story, it's about vandalism, and 2 other "pranks" occurred that evening as well.
As for negative comments about parents of peanut allergic kids, they are just protecting their children like good parents do. No one is trying to take your peanut butter away from you, so lighten up!

Posted by: varo212 | July 24, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Peanut allergies, total pain in the rear. Finding snack for preschool without nuts, impossible. I used to think it was annoying too, till my 3rd kid almost stopped breathing when he was two. Man, if only I would have aborted him..I wouldn't have to inconvenience any of the people above! Surely my child has no reason to live, he only inconveniences other people I guess. Wonder if I can get a refund on my defective child?

Seriously, what's wrong with people! As far as the "incident" its funny. I'm not outraged. Teenagers being funny. It got cleaned, no one was hurt. People don't need to freak out.

Just take a moment to think how you would feel and how sucky it would be to be the family that has to be scared of everything like that..that your kid might die from touching something so random. Believe me, its much more annoying to have to worry about your child dying than random snacks at school.

Posted by: yayajones | July 24, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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