SWAT team cuffs masked Dell flack for 'deadly' tablet promo
Call 911! He's selling the Dell Streak!
Dell's Round Rock, Texas headquarters was stormed by a police SWAT team on Monday after multiple 911 calls reported that a masked gunman was ordering employees into a building lobby.
Round Rock's finest discovered employee Bryan Chester dressed in a biker outfit, wearing a skull mask, and carrying what callers identified as "two metallic objects."
But this wasn't really a hostage situation. Chester and his supervisor Daniel Rawson were engaged in a ill-advised promo stunt, reportedly to introduce staffers to a new Dell Streak tablet.
"Through a series of misinterpretation, miscommunication, this sent a lot of others into a controlled panic," police spokesman Eric Poteet told Austin news station KXAN.
Chester and Rawson compounded their idiocy, KXAN reported, by refusing to comply with police orders to cease and desist. "If it wasn't serious enough," Poteet said, "that elevated it to extreme risk scenario."
Considering the gun-happy culture of Texas, the two marketeers were lucky that none of the employees they terrorized were packing heat.
Both pranksters were arrested, and according to KXAN, Both face misdemeanor charges for "Interfering with Public Duties and Deadly Conduct."
A Dell spokesman called the use of a skull-mask to drive employees into the building lobby for a product intro "an unfortunate choice," and thanked the Round Rock police for responding quickly before anyone was hurt.
One commenter to the KXAN story aptly summarized the event by quoting tough-guy actor John Wayne's well-know dictum: "Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid." ®