Remember that brand new, 702-horsepower Ram TRX that was jumped and trashed in the name of clicks? Well, it's back, and this time the owner seems to have landed in hot water with the law.
YouTuber Street Speed 717, whose real name is Mike Hyssong, has been posting videos of the TRX ever since purchasing the truck in January. In total, Hyssong posted nine videos of the TRX documenting its destruction and sale. It appears that selling the truck didn't get him out of trouble with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, though, who caught wind of his viral videos as it readied charges against him related to his YouTube antics.
The court docket against Hyssong reveals that the PFBC brought a total of 18 criminal charges, pinning him for various misdemeanors under Title 30 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, called “Protection of Property and Waters.” And to top it all off, many (if not all) of these were thoroughly documented in his videos. According to a spokesperson at the PFBC, the Commission was alerted to activity occurring on the property in York County, Pennsylvania where the videos were filmed prior to having knowledge of Hyssong's TRX videos.
His charges include various violations of specific verbiage within Title 30, including two counts of Disturbance of Waterways and Watersheds, six counts of Pollution of Waters, six counts of Littering, and four counts of Misuse of Property and Waters. This equates to eight third-degree misdemeanor charges, four second-degree summary offenses, and six first-degree summary offenses. It's unknown what these charges will entail; however, other individuals who were previously convicted under these laws have been ordered to pay civil damages, resulting in restitution to the Commonwealth for damage to fish, commercial resale value, the replacement cost of fish based on the angling value, and more.
The PFBC, who is responsible for enforcing Title 30 on both public and private land in Pennsylvania, declined to comment further on the matter as it is still part of an ongoing investigation.
Surprisingly, it doesn't appear that these charges are necessarily limited to videos of the TRX jumping.
For example, let's examine the four counts of Misuse of Property and Waters. According to the description of the charges read by the YouTuber, he received this charge because he did not "ford in the most direct manner," something this statute covers in Chapter 25, noting that it is illegal to "run any vehicle, except fording in the most direct manner, in any stream." There are three other videos (one from Jan. 19, another from Jan. 22, and the final on Jan. 29) which all show him driving through the stream as if it were a road.
Hyssong says that he was invited onto private property to film these videos and does not believe that he was destructive to the environment, nor did his vehicle leak anything into the stream which could be poisonous to fish (a reference to the "Pollution of Waters" charge). Regardless, he also says that PFBC indicated that it had walked the stream and was able to determine that there was enough evidence for the charges, but the YouTuber says that the commission should instead be questioning the property owners or those who live around it.
"I pay literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, and I don't even want free stuff. I just want to be left alone and the government just can't help itself," Hyssong said after explaining the charges. He later continued, "I think they are really like trying to throw the book at me. I don't know if because it's easy, it's on video, or to make an example because it's a video that got 1.6 million views."
At this point, the YouTuber's lawyers are involved and hoping to get everything settled. Hyssong insists there was no ill intent while filming and he's confident they'll be able to work out the issues.
Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET on 03/16/2021: We’ve added information from the PFBC regarding the specific charges involved. We’ve also updated this post with Hyssong’s correct last name as provided by the commission.
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