Update: The Akron prosecutors must have read our original post and agreed with the impeccable logic — the charge against Bill Morrison has been dropped, so says the Akron Beacon Journal. Rest easy, friends, sanity reigns briefly again in the republic.
Hey hey, that's a pretty nice ax you got there.
At least . . . that's what we were thinking when we saw the picture to the right. Pretty realistic, huh? Maybe a little too realistic, at least for an unidentified nerve-burned Akron woman who spotted the item and immediately reached for her phone to dial 911.
Here's the backstory: according to the Akron Beacon Journal, local guy Bill Morrison has a professional interest in Halloween. Every year he works up characters and does the make-up for local haunted houses. This year, he cooked up a bloody ax and went in for verisimilitude: the prop's handle was made of actual wood, the rubber blade splashed with red, blood-like paint. All told, the ax took $80 to make, and Morrison thought he could sell the item to a friend. They arranged to meet at a bar on October 16. As he walked into the establishment with the ax tucked under his trench coat, he was spotted by a nearby women. She freaked, calling the police but not leaving her name.
“We just saw a man with, like, a hatchet, with an ax and he hid it under his coat and he started walking to toward the [bar],” she told the dispatcher. “He’s sitting outside. It’s kind of suspicious because he’s pacing back and forth.”
The woman tells the dispatcher that the man with long, brown hair and wearing a dark green trench coat just entered the bar with “a full, long ax.”
Akron police came to the scene and spoke with Morrison. They learned the ax was in fact a prop, but arrested him on a charge of inducing panic. Akron prosecutors are now reviewing the misdemeanor; if convicted, Morrison could face up to six months in jail.
Which is pretty ridiculous, 'ask us. Just because a single individual is riled up in a frothy fantod, does that really constitute an “induced” “panic”? Particularly when the individual, or, we guess, victim, in this case, has not come forward to testify about the extent of her “panic”? The statues define the charge as “serious public inconvenience or alarm,” but here, that public is one person.