Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/23/ohio_charge_dropped/

Man nearly faints with relief as cops drop chopper charge

Scary fake tool had panicked woman

By Team Register

Posted in Bootnotes, 23rd November 2011 12:24 GMT

Ohio police have dropped charges against a man they claimed had induced panic amongst the citizenry of Akron by brandishing a large red chopper in a bar.

Bill Morrison had been charged after a woman called 911 to say that he walked into a bar sporting the enormous blood-spattered chopper last month.

Despite police determining after a sidewalk inspection that Morrison's chopper was merely a very realistic facsimile, he was hit with charges of "inducing panic" and raising fears that could have resulted in an evacuation.

Morrison had told police he had merely brought the facsimile chopper to the bar to sell to a friend.

However, prosecutors have now determined that the circumstances do not warrant a criminal charge, though they understand why people might have been panicked.

“The axe was so realistic, it’s not something you should be walking into stores with,” city prosecutor Doug Powley iold the Akron Beacon Journal... “You just don’t walk around at night with something so realistic without causing people to be afraid."

Morrison told the paper that he was mightily relieved that his chopper had been exonerated. "If I had been standing, I might have passed out." ®