Nathan Bartling, a YouTube celebrity in Thailand who goes by the moniker My Mate Nate, has found himself in legal jeopardy after attempting to flatten out coins on a Bangkok railroad track for a recent video.
Bartling, who ventured to Bangkok from Chino Hills, Calif. as a Mormon missionary but subsequently opted to remain in Thailand to launch a YouTube prank channel, currently counts 3.3 million subscribers. The 24-year-old’s latest stunt, however, has resulted in charges of railway obstruction, trespassing, and damaging railway property. He was detained by police and subsequently released after a news conference yesterday, reports the Associated Press.
Bartling, who is fluent in Thai, removed the video in question after viewers expressed concerns that placing coins on a train track could cause a derailment. Though the AP reports that this suspicion is a myth, several people who have attempted to orchestrate such a prank have been struck by trains and killed.
Bartling has produced several other controversial videos, according to the AP — including trying to make his cat fly by tying it to a cluster of balloons, and forcing two cats to fight a scorpion. Both have been removed from his channel, and Bartling is also being investigated by police for animal cruelty regarding the latter clip. Additionally, roughly 64,000 people have signed an online petition asking the Thai government to cancel Bartling’s visa and bar him from ever entering the country again.
“I will do my best to be a good role model,” Bartling said by way of apology at the news conference, per the AP. He is in the country on a business visa, and is set to be charged on Wednesday.