Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

March 1, 2012

Prank leads customer to call 911


VALDOSTA — What was intended as a prank at an area restaurant led to a customer believing the business was being robbed and the prankster's arrest Thursday evening.

A young man entered the Quizno's on Baytree Road where he knew an employee and the manager, said Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress. The young man handed the manager a business card, which included a note demanding all of the restaurant's money.

A customer standing behind the young man was able to read the note on the business card. Having no idea that the man knew staff members, the customer stepped out of line and entered the rest room. There, the customer called 911 to report a robbery.

Police officers were dispatched to the Quizno's where they learned the young man had no intention to rob the business but rather meant the note as a joke aimed at staff members he knew, Childress said.

Since there was no actual robbery, officers weighed a potential charge. Childress said the young man has been charged with causing the false report of a crime and reckless conduct. The suspect was taken to the Lowndes County Jail. His identity was not released Thursday night.

The young man explained that he meant no harm, but Childress said the young man's prank “created a mass panic,” leading to customers fearing for their safety and police officers rushing to the scene. Though it ended safely, the police commander said it could have caused someone else being harmed or even led to the prankster being seriously injured.

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