Monday, August 27, 2007

When Your Exercise Routine Turns Into A Terrorism Scare

For the most part, I hope that people keep an eye open for "suspicious activity"(as long as I'm not the suspect!), but sometimes I can't help but think that people get carried away. Like when they think that someone is planning a terrorist attack in the parking lot of an IKEA.

Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge.

The sprinkled powder forced hundreds to evacuate an IKEA furniture store Thursday.

New Haven ophthalmologist Daniel Salchow, 36, and his sister, Dorothee, 31, who is visiting from Hamburg, Germany, were both charged with first-degree breach of peace, a felony.

The siblings set off the scare while organizing a run for a local chapter of the Hash House Harriers, a worldwide group that bills itself as a "drinking club with a running problem."

A "drinking club with a running problem"? They should have the charges against them dropped just because of that awesome slogan. I've participated in club runs like this, and they have to be marked so that you don't end up getting lost. Though, I guess the people of New Haven, CT(an obvious target rich environment for terrorists) have trouble differentiating between an arrow marking a direction, and anthrax released into the environment.
Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said the city plans to seek restitution from the Salchows, who are due in court Sept. 14.

"You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know," she said. "It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We're thankful it wasn't, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out."

Yeah, you also never know just how boneheaded some people can be, and what lengths they'll take things to. Seriously, they want these people to pay restitution? It's not like they made a fake 911 call or something similar. It was just a case of a citizen(most likely an elderly busybody that freaks out about everything) making an incorrect assumption, and calling the police. I'm not sure what "resources" went into figuring out that Al Qaeda wasn't attacking the IKEA store, but to charge these two participants with felonies and demand that they pay resitution is ridiculous.

And exactly what would be worse than a terrorist attack at an IKEA? Finding a piece of glass in your IKEA marinated herring? Oh.

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