This boy was pissed at Apple! (Literally.)
An 11-year-old boy from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania caused $36k worth of damage at Upper Allen Township Elementary by peeing on 30 school owned MacBooks that were left unattended on a cart.
Although the boy’s identity is not being released, we can probably safely go with the new nickname of “The Apple Whiz Kid” for now. The Whiz Kid is being charged with institutional vandalism (the knowing desecration of school or government property) and criminal mischief. The case is being handled by the Cumberland County Juvenile Probation Department.
Had he been older he could have been subject to up to seven years of jail time and a $15,000 fine, as both charges are third-degree felonies in the state.
Exactly why the tween decided to urinate on the computers, or how he managed to produce enough pee to soak the machines is a mystery, but the damage he caused is reportedly beyond repair, making the incident a total loss for the school.
It’s hard to imagine the young boy knew at the time the irreparable nature of his actions, but if he assumed the machines could be fixed or cleaned he could not have been further from the truth. Apple will not fix any product that has been contaminated with urine, even if you pay them, because it is considered a biohazard.
John Brownlee at Cult of Mac explains:
We can all surmise that urinating upon your Mac will not be covered by your AppleCare, but here’s an interesting question: if you stand up right this second, unzip your fly and hose off all over your MacBook, can you even pay to service the machines? The answer is no, because Apple looks at micturated-upon MacBooks as a biohazard.
Even animal urine falls under this definition, so even pet owners that are unfortunate enough to have a dog or cat pee on their machine are only left with the options to either search for a non-Apple repair shop that might accept such a job, or replace their machine completely. As for retrieving information off of the hard drive that may not be backed up, again, Apple won’t touch it, so you’re at the mercy of third-party vendors or left to attempt it yourself.
Helen A.S. Popkin of MSNBC confirmed this by calling Apple herself.
Sure enough, not even dog urine is acceptable. I know this because the helpful woman who answered the phone at the New York City’s Fifth Avenue Apple Store told me that no, if my dog urinated on my MacBook, no Apple Genius would touch it. What’s more, “biohazard” is the exact word she used, right before she encouraged me to “Google” a repair outfit that would deign to do such dirty work.
Popkin also reminded everyone of the 2009 article by The Consumerist that pointed out that smoke-infused Apple products are also considered biohazards by Apple, and that smoking near a computer or apple device voids the warranty. So if you’re a smoker, you might not be able to get your machine fixed (under the AppleCare warranty or not) regardless of the problem, even without it being soaked in pee.
Although this serves as a good cautionary tale for Apple owners, we still have to wonder how an 11-year-old managed that much pee…