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Canada apparently bans making a gun with your hand and yelling "bang!"...

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An Ottawa teen believes cops were too quick to pull the trigger on a mischief investigation that involved shaping his hand into a gun and yelling bang in a mock gunfight.

Henrick Vierula told the Sun he doesn't deserve to be charged with multiple criminal offences after participating in a phenomena known as a "flash mob" at the Rideau Centre on Friday.

"The whole thing is ridiculous," said Vierula, 19.

Vierula and other participants were to shape their hands into a gun, point them at each other, yell "bang" and collapse to the ground.


Only Vierula and 18-year-old Stephane Laurence-Pressault -- who's also been charged with mischief and disturbing the peace -- participated in this flash mob because many of the other mobbers knew mall security was on to them.

Vierula and Laurence-Pressault tried to make a go of it anyway and were escorted into police custody by mall security.

"I don't think I was disturbing anyone's peace. We were the only ones. It was supposed to be a flash mob, but there wasn't much of a mob," said Vierula.

Staff-Sgt. Paul Johnston said police were tipped to the prank by a couple of concerned citizens who alerted them to a Facebook page.

"We got a call that there might have been a real gun," said Johnston, adding the prank tied up police resources -- even the tactical unit. "We had officers en route when they could have been responding to other calls."

On Facebook, police learned of the location inside the mall, the precise time and that more than 1,000 people were invited to participate.

A spokeswoman for the Rideau Centre said the prank could have been upsetting for customers.

"The Rideau Centre is private property. We take our obligations to ensure our customers feel safe and secure seriously," said Cindy VanBuskirk, general manager.

The event was organized by the Ottawa Flash Mob Society, which has held several mobs at the Rideau Centre.

One included participants dressing in red and hitting each other with rolled up newspapers for five minutes.

"It's just a lot of fun and a random thing you can do. It makes everyone around you question what you're doing," said Kim Kandravy, who participated in the newspaper flash mob on Feb. 10.

Kandravy said police are drawing way too much attention to the pranks by laying criminal charges.

"It's not like we are doing anything wrong. It's just dumb and police are making too big a deal of it," she said.

As for Vierula, he's concerned about possibly having a criminal record and said his parents aren't pleased either.

"They are not happy about it, clearly," he said.



Description of the planned event from the Facebook site:

The Rules are:

- TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW! (to make this more effective and fun!)

- Look inconspicuous (For effects don't draw attention to yourself).

- Do not congregate in the location, try to be generally around it.

- The guns are invisible or made with your hand. (DON'T bring a fake gun with you... it's not the point!).

- Please follow these guidelines to ensure a fun time for everyone!

1: At exactly 4 p.m. descend onto the defined area.

2: Make a fake gun with your hands and point it at someone in the area and wait for the signal!

3: DO NOT shoot until you get the signal (-BANG!-)

4: "Open fire" Shoot the neighbouring people around you. (point and shout "BANG!" (or whatever your gun sounds like...). Rule of thumb shoot at lease one shot and lie down!)

5: Lie down on the ground as if "dead" and wait till everyone is "dead" and get up and leave the area.

Anyone is welcome to come and watch or take pictures!


--- Quote --- . . . were escorted into police custody by mall security.They must have tougher mall ninjas in Canada then we do here, or else they hire off-duty police . . . I've yet to see mall security here that would "escort" me anywhere I didn't want to go. (If I was told to leave, I would.)
--- Quote ---"We got a call that there might have been a real gun," said Johnston, adding the prank tied up police resources -- even the tactical unit. "We had officers en route when they could have been responding to other calls."Then they should prosecute the person who made a false report.

Criminal charges are asinine . . . though the mall would be within its rights to tell these people not to return. (If they did, then trespassing charges would be valid.)

Welcome to Wimpworld.  Modern society in microcosm.

Flash mob?   Looks as if I'm too old to even understand the point.


--- Quote from: griz on November 05, 2007, 07:47:05 AM ---Flash mob?   Looks as if I'm too old to even understand the point.

A bunch of people text each other to show up at a certain place and time and, on the mark, all do the same something silly or bizarre at the same time, then disperse. It varies from this sort of thing to all pulling out the same magazine and reading it, to all breaking into the same song at once, then stopping and continuing on their way as if nothing had happened.

One of the documented ones involved about 200 people showing up in a Hyatt lobby in NYC, bursting into synchronized applause at nothing for about fifteen seconds, and then scattering in all directions once more, anonymously. Several cities worldwide have had a sudden, massive pillow fight when people all suddenly pulled pillows out of shopping bags and backpacks and started whapping on each other.

It's amusing, and harmless...a bit of surreality to confuse the sheeplike masses.


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