Cori Ward says she didn’t think about what she was doing when she shared the video. She was only trying to be funny.
As News4Jax reports, the 30-year-old mom from Jacksonville, Florida, was waiting to see the doctor at the All About Kids & Families Medical Center. It was then that Ward filmed a video of her young daughter licking a tongue depressor in the doctor’s office, then putting it back with the others.
Above the jar of tongue depressors was a sign warning people not to touch the medical supplies. Ward couldn’t explain why she decided to make the video. She told CBS 47:
“I mean honestly, I wasn’t thinking.”
Ward also admitted to News4Jax that she didn’t consider the possible consequences before sharing the video to social media:
“I had just been waiting a long time. I was just being silly with my kids.”
The mom originally posted the video to Snapchat. From there, it was shared on Facebook and went viral. Ward’s video comes at the time of a recent media trend featuring people caught on camera licking ice cream at stores and putting it back in the freezer.
According to First Coast News, Ward wrote on Facebook that she didn’t know about the ice cream incidents before she posted the video:
“What I didn’t know was that there was a ‘licking challenge’ as I don’t scroll social media like that.”
The mom added that she didn’t expect the video to spread and implied that the tongue depressors were later disposed of:
“The video doesn’t show that the items were thrown away or anything else that happened. I posted this on my personal Snapchat with my 20-something friends, where someone allowed another person to video it. I didn’t post it on Facebook or YouTube as a challenge or whatever.”
Ward has since deleted her Facebook account.
Just two days after the video went public, Ward was arrested and charged with tampering with a consumer product without regard for possible death or bodily injury. The charge is a felony that carries a possible sentence of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Ward told CBS47 that she regrets her actions:
“I know what it’s like to, you know, have to worry about your kids health and stuff. I would never put somebody else’s kid at risk.”
For now, the mom is concerned about how the incident will affect her family. She told News4Jax that she’s worried she might end up in jail or her children might be taken away:
“It’s ruined my life right now. That’s how I feel at least. I just care about my kids and how this is going to affect them.”
The medical clinic released a statement explaining that once the video became public, they contacted law enforcement and sanitized their entire facility.
BREAKING: Cori Ward, the mother who was arrested after taping her daughter licking tongue depressors at a doctors office had her bond set to $2,500. She’s been told she cannot have contact with the doctor’s office or any social media @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/RolOSAyOZ7
— Alicia Tarancon (@AliciaANJax) July 12, 2019
At a preliminary hearing, Ward’s bond was set at $2,500. The judge also ordered her to stay off social media.
When asked what her message would be to anyone who saw the video of her daughter, Ward told CBS 47:
“I’m sorry for anyone that it offended. It should have never been taken this far.”