USC sues YouTubers pair over 'classroom takeover pranks'

The University of Southern California has filed a lawsuit against a pair of YouTubers for allegedly orchestrating "classroom takeovers" in lecture halls at the university's campus. 

The lawsuit alleges that Ernest Kanevsky and Yugo Bai stormed into USC classrooms and lecture halls on at least three occasions and taking over classrooms in elaborate fashion, all for the purposes of posting the scenes and classroom reactions to the pair's YouTube channels. According to the lawsuit, the classroom takeovers are suggested by their channel subscribers as dares.

USC says neither has ever been enrolled as a student at the university.

On Friday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant issued a temporary restraining order against the two, barring them from the University Park campus as well as any other university-owned properties in Los Angeles County.

The lawsuit says the takeovers have, "caused terror and disruption among (USC’s) students and faculty."

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The most recent takeover according to the suit, happened on March 29, when the two allegedly interrupted a lecture on the Holocaust in the university's Mark Taper Hall. According to the lawsuit, the two simulated a "Russian Mafia shakedown," causing students to run from the classroom, leaving backpacks and bags behind. 

Kanevsky and Bai were later detained at gunpoint trying to run from the lecture hall, according to court papers. Many students reportedly did not return for the class' next meeting.

In two other instances outlined in court documents, Kanevsky and Bai, as well as other unidentified associates allegedly took over classrooms dressed as characters from Netflix's "Squid Game" in one case, and accosted a class' professor and students in another.

The university is seeking unspecified damages andattorneys' fees in the lawsuit. 

The university issued the following statement to FOX 11:

"The safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our top priority. We maintain a strong Department of Public Safety and threat assessment team to keep our community safe. The court’s order granting a temporary restraining order underscores the need to provide a sense of stability and comfort in an in-person learning environment and in light of campus safety concerns nationally on college campuses. The court ruling should be viewed as a warning that such behavior won’t be tolerated by these or any other individuals."

City News Service contributed to this report.

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