Late Thursday night, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to and raided the offices of game developer Robotoki after the building’s panic button was triggered. Threat assessment by four officers at the scene revealed what appeared to be a heavily armed assailant standing at attention at the window, to which the officers responded by storming the building.
“I was in my office when they arrived and saw them coming up our stairs, guns drawn,” studio founder Robert Bowling said. “They yelled for me to put my hands up and walk towards them slowly, then took me into custody and out of the studio until they cleared the rest of the rooms and floors.”
About 15 minutes later the officers emerged from the building, laughing. The life-size statue of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 character Simon “Ghost” Riley had been mistaken by the police for a real threat, and they had nearly opened fire.
With the “threat” passed, discussion shifted to Bowling’s line of work, and that of Rototoki, and ended with a round of video games using the office’s chic wooden NES controller coffee table.
Surveillance footage from within the building later showed the culprit of the whole ordeal: a far too curious designer, who’s first instinct had apparently been to press the newly installed panic button, just to see what would happen. No charges were filed and no fines were issued.
In a fully encompassing reminder, police once again reiterate that folks be wary and take care as to what and how they display items or personal effects that could be mistaken for actual threats. Luckily no one was harmed in this specific instance, however unfortunate accidents can take place in similar situations, so please be careful.
Written by Andrés Markwart, a Columnist at Vancity Buzz. Connect with Andrés on Twitter @AMarkwart.