Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Zero Tolerance Nuts Nab Flour Terrorists

Never trust a government too stupid to stop itself and too rigid to bend. Never expect wisdom from perpetrators of zero tolerance. Case in point:

Charges have been dropped against two siblings who inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare when they sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club.

New Haven ophthalmologist Daniel Salchow, 36, and his sister, Dorothee, 31, who was visiting from Hamburg, Germany, had been 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."

"Hares" are given the task of marking a trail to direct runners, throwing in some dead ends and forks as challenges. In August, the Salchows decided to route runners through an IKEA furniture store parking lot.

Police fielded a call that someone was sprinkling powder on the ground. The store was evacuated and remained closed the rest of the night. The incident prompted a massive response from police in New Haven and surrounding towns. (source)
Sure, it was a classic war on terror over-reaction, but ultimmately the courts let them walk, so where is the zero tolerance, you ask? Glad you did:
The charges were dropped Thursday after Daniel Salchow agreed he and his sister would donate $4,000 to local charities. Prosecutors could reopen the case if the Salchows do the same thing again in the next 13 months.
The two never set out to scare anyone, had a perfect excuse and did no harm -- yet they had to pay a penalty and risk reopening of a lame no-count non-case against them.

As tip-off agent extraordinaire Jim put it, Oh Lord!

Labels: , ,