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Queens Chronicle

High school flash mob ends in arrest

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 3:19 pm, Thu Feb 28, 2013.

A Forest Hills High School student was arrested after organizing a flash mob that quickly went awry.

Arnis Mehmetaj, a senior, reportedly invited hundreds of Forest Hills High School students to meet in the school lobby to re-enact the viral dance video the “Harlem Shake.”

As a result, the 17-year-old — who attempted to call off the stunt at the last minute — was taken to the 112th Precinct and was issued a desk appearance ticket.

In addition to the arrest, school administrators initially suspended Mehmetaj for five days and revoked all of his senior privileges.

In response, a group of Forest Hills students pulled together a petition on ipetition.org calling for school officials to reverse the punishments.

“At 8:55 a.m., we all got a text message from him telling us that it’s cancelled, don’t go to the lobby, if anyone dances, we will be in trouble,” the petition read. “He tried to warn everyone, he tried to make sure everyone did not go to the lobby but failed.”

What resulted was hundreds of students piling into the Forest Hills High School lobby, where they whooped and shouted for a few minutes before dispersing.

The Harlem Shake is a dance that has participants shake their entire bodies, usually dressed in over-the-top outfits or costumes.

Dozens of remakes, including several that take place in school buildings, can be found on YouTube.

The petition Mehmetaj’s peers pulled together on Feb 15, just hours after his arrest, has since been taken down.

Forest Hills High School administrators have also reversed course on his five-day suspension and reinstated his senior privileges.

Mehmetaj will still, however, have to appear in court to be arraigned but because he was only issued a violation, he faces no jail time.

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