Britain - man arrested for owning armed Lara Croft statue


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Lucky
May 16, 2007, 06:04 PM
On the bright side at least they didn't hold him on the ground and then shoot him a dozen times.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=455037&in_page_id=1770
http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/05_01/laracroft1RB1505_228x388.jpg

Armed police raid home after mistaking Lara Croft dummy for gunman
James Tozer - More by this author Last updated at 18:57pm on 15th May 2007

Comments Comments (2)

Model behaviour: The mannequin armed police swooped on

When police spotted a gun-wielding suspect lurking in the shadows of a suburban front room, their response was swift.

Armed officers burst into the house, shouted at the owner to lie on the floor, and ordered him to surrender his weapon.

But efficiency turned to embarrassment when the "gunman" turned out to be a life-sized model of the video game character Lara Croft, complete with trademark outsized pistols.

Computer shop owner David Williams, 42, had taken the dummy home to put it up for sale on the auction site eBay.

As the source of the confusion dawned on all concerned, it might have been the moment for an apology from the police.

Instead, however, Mr Williams was taken to the cells and held for more than 13 hours before being released.

He is now on bail for a suspected firearms offence, and Lara Croft remains impounded as evidence.

More....

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* ASBO threat to aggressive touts selling punting trips to tourists in Cambridge

Scroll down for more

Lara Croft

David Williams was arrested for having Lara Croft model in window

"It would have been laughable if it hadn't been so terrifying," he said yesterday. "One of the police held a gun and yelled, 'Where's the weapon, where's the weapon?'

"I didn't have a clue what was going on, I assumed they'd got the wrong house. I couldn't believe it when I realised they'd mistaken a Lara Croft dummy for someone with a gun."

Father-of-two Mr Williams had phoned police after receiving nuisance phone calls, and officers arrived at his house in Dukinfield, near Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, shortly before midnight.

He says he did not hear them arrive, but unknown to him one officer had seen the dummy's silhouette through the front window and called for armed back-up.

Soon afterwards, the street was cordoned off and a team of armed officers burst in through Mr Williams's back door.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said officers peered inside after Mr Williams failed to answer his front door.

"They believed they saw a silhouette of a person pointing what appeared to be a firearm inside the house," she said.

They followed "correct procedure" by withdrawing to await armed officers, she added.

"Officers then went into the house and found a mannequin holding a toy weapon."

Mr Williams, who says he is speaking to lawyers about a possible claim for wrongful arrest, will hear whether he faces further action when he answers bail next month.

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Old Fuff
May 16, 2007, 06:19 PM
If they thought that the statue in question was a gunman, there's more amiss in Ol' England then I first thought... :what: :D

Roccobro
May 16, 2007, 06:24 PM
Oh bother. They couldn't just have a good laugh at their expense and say sorry. This is the perfect situation for an extreme frivolous lawsuit to retaliate.

Justin

never_retreat
May 16, 2007, 06:25 PM
***?
I can't think of anything else.

Carl N. Brown
May 16, 2007, 06:38 PM
They responded to a shadow on a window?

It could just have easily have been the shadow
of an indoor plant appearing to be a figure with a
gun as it was a statue of a video game tomb raider.

I know it's UK but a raid should be based on some form
of probable cause, and a raid on a mistaken premise
should never be cause for an arrest.

Do the police respond to clouds as well? Oh, look, that
cloud up there looks like a snowman with an AK!

ilbob
May 16, 2007, 06:42 PM
The same end result could have happened in almost every police jurisdiction in the US. The cops will arrest the innocent party and lock him up, rather than admit to a silly mistake. That is just standard police practice in most of the US. Eventually it gets sorted out, but by then the innocent party has spent time in jail, been beaten and hassled. Most often, those at fault for the mishap will not even apologize.

MDW GUNS
May 16, 2007, 06:48 PM
I guess soon people get rated by the police in the UK when downloading any youtube video with guns!!
Since "Tony" is gone, maybe reality will follow?!

Geno
May 16, 2007, 06:54 PM
Yeah. :cool:

I could understand if it had been a life-sized Barney, but... :scrutiny:

Carl N. Brown
May 16, 2007, 07:00 PM
THR > Social Situations > Legal and Political
Armed police raid home after mistaking Lara Croft dummy for gunman

Sage of Seattle
May 16, 2007, 07:53 PM
Lara Croft, complete with trademark outsized pistols.

Yes, she has quite a pair of hand.... cannons....

called for armed back-up.

Why armed back up? I thought guns are not necessary in England?

ServiceSoon
May 16, 2007, 08:28 PM
It seems to me that England is past the point of no return.

shermacman
May 16, 2007, 08:34 PM
Coming to a town here in America, soon.
By the way, what would a normal guy want with a life-size Lara Croft doll?
Oh, nevermind...

-terry
May 16, 2007, 08:38 PM
If that was someone with a hand gun, they could have shot up everyone in the house, had lunch, then a nap while the police "wait for backup." Once more, understand that the police are not there to protect your life, they're there to see if a crime has been committed and to try to arrest a suspect.

Caimlas
May 16, 2007, 09:15 PM
That is... incredible. How did they even notice the gun, let alone act on it as a threat?! First thing any mentally stable person would notice is the maniquin's breasts, followed by the fact that it was, indeed, a maniquin. At that point, the presence of the cast image of a firearm is irrelevant.

They couldn't just have a good laugh at their expense and say sorry. This is the perfect situation for an extreme frivolous lawsuit to retaliate.

Not going to happen. See, if they'd just barged in unannounced and said, "oh, sorry ol' chap, we made a mistake" and leave, the person would likely sue them and win, with the cops involved getting a reprimand. But, if they rough him up a bit, arrest him, etc. the extent to which the $*%#-up extends is greatly increased, impacting more police officers to a greater degree, and everyone is trying to cover their own rears by holding nobody accountable. If the people directly responsible aren't held accountable, then their superiors can't be, and neither can the politicians who are over them.

Therefore, the politicians and judges will sweep the even under the carpet to essentially save themselves and their colleagues from any formal accountability or punishment. After all, they and their policies are the ones responsible for making it possible in the first place through broad-sweeping policy.

Lucky
May 16, 2007, 09:51 PM
And don't play the TV too loud if there's gunshots in the show.

hockeybum
May 16, 2007, 10:33 PM
this is the reason why USA = #1 :D

Nomad, 2nd
May 16, 2007, 10:37 PM
They just wanted her number.:evil:

trueblue1776
May 16, 2007, 10:42 PM
OMG I just pooped a little bit, how scared can a bobby be.

Jim K
May 16, 2007, 10:46 PM
The guy is lucky. U.S. cops can be just as nasty when THEY make mistakes, but the Brit "armed police" are all too often totally idiotic about guns and tend to start shooting at the slightest provocation or no provocation.

An interesting sidelight is that applications from police to become firearms certified will be rejected if the applicant has any knowledge of firearms or has ever owned or been around any kind of firearm. The nutso powers that be are afraid that if the cop knows anything about guns he might be too sympathetic to gun owners, when he is supposed to kill without compunction.

Jim

Ian Sean
May 16, 2007, 10:48 PM
How could they NOT tell it was a mannequin? Take a look at the perfect teeth in that smile....definately not a real life British gunman/woman.:neener:

.cheese.
May 16, 2007, 11:23 PM
By Roccobro:
This is the perfect situation for an extreme frivolous lawsuit to retaliate.

doubtful. When I interned with a group of barristers in London, they kept making the point that they don't sue people like we do here in the states. Over and over. Even when they shot that guy in the underground, all that people were saying was, "How awful." and nobody even seemed to think about the notion of a massive lawsuit filed by his family. It really is different there. Not necessarily for the best though... and I won't even get into weapon laws.

I wonder what would have become of me had I been caught with my Leatherman Micra which I carried daily there. Maybe nothing.... maybe something.

tasco 74
May 16, 2007, 11:31 PM
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????inbread????

Werewolf
May 16, 2007, 11:40 PM
You know...

Every time I read about some idiotic instance like that occuring in Britain I imagine that there's a real opportunity for the French to exercise a battalion or two of their military and conquer England - something they haven't done since - what - 1066 or so?

I can see it now. The French land - guns at the ready, British vacationers on the beach see the french, yell like little girls - "they've got guns" and start screaming in fear. The french hearing the screams drop their guns and dash back into the water until one or two remember they're the ones with guns. They cautiously return, recover their weapons and creep up the now deserted beach. Realizing they've won they begin to cheer. After a while the cheers die and they start looking at each other with confused looks on their faces. It's been so long since they won a battle that they've forgotten what to do next.

Standing Wolf
May 16, 2007, 11:42 PM
Somebody tell me again, please: why did we sacrifice so many American lives to save the English from Nazism?

trueblue1776
May 16, 2007, 11:56 PM
because Nazis were waaaaaay tougher than Brits.:D

chopz
May 17, 2007, 12:00 AM
ok, my take on this incident is probably going to be the unpopular one here.

first, the guy calls the cops and complains about strange phone calls. so, they check by his house to see everything's cool. he doesn't come to the door when they knock so they're probably thinking he's either in the bathroom or the wacko who he was complaning about decided to pay him a visit. so, they glance in the window just to make sure before they leave and see the black silhouetted figure aiming a gun downward, as if there was someone laying on the floor. i don't blame them for overreacting. the guy might as well have orchestrated that sequence of events as a prank.

"Computer shop owner David Williams, 42, had taken the dummy home to put it up for sale on the auction site eBay."

if i were caught with a full size statue of lara croft in my home i'd probably come up with some similar excuse.

Deaf Smith
May 17, 2007, 12:47 AM
Due to the lack of weapons in Britian, the British Police are not real familiar to what real guns look liike, nor hot chicks with thigh holsters. As a result it's very easy for them to mistake toy pistols for guns, mistake manaquins for people, mistake Laura Croft for a realistic person. I'm amazed they didn't fill her full of holes. Their guns must be carried empty.

Their petty retaliation will backfire somewhat, but it's par for a bureaucratic state. Since they have no empire to rule over, they turn on themselves and become tyrants.

230RN
May 17, 2007, 01:10 AM
Think maybe he planned it all to enhance the bidding on e-Bay? :)

jeepmor
May 17, 2007, 08:42 AM
Wankers

qajaq59
May 17, 2007, 09:03 AM
Well, now we know where the Keystone cops went when they left Hollywood. :)

hankpac
May 17, 2007, 09:06 AM
Where can I get one of those dolls?
My blow-up has a slow leak.:cool:

Cliff47
May 17, 2007, 09:18 AM
I'm surprised that they didn't go trigger-happy in the direction of the mannequin. On the other hand, the police may have ventilated the chap's wall. Don't know how much the Brit's practice.

Lucky
May 17, 2007, 12:45 PM
Cliff when their Elite Team caught that Argentinian 'suicide bomber' a bunch of them pinned him on the ground while another fired over a dozen shots into his prostrate body and against a man held on the ground from a couple inches away managed to miss half the shots yet...:barf:

Chopz you're right, the initial action could be justified. But the subsequent arrest and detention are a little harder to explain without using the word 'fascist' or such.

chopz
May 17, 2007, 01:36 PM
well, the guys was held for 13 hours, which doesn't seem overly long.

figure a couple hours to ask "dude, what were you thinking? you set up a full sized gun toting manniken in your window and then called the cops?!?"

then a few more hours to wonder if he was just screwing with them as some hoax maybe his mates put him up to.

then - "well, we shut down a whole city block because of this joker. maybe we'll let him have some time to think about maybe not doing that again."

the naked prophet
May 17, 2007, 01:41 PM
Somebody tell me again, please: why did we sacrifice so many American lives to save the English from Nazism?

Cause we thought they could be better Nazis than the Germans?

Dr. Dickie
May 17, 2007, 01:45 PM
Don't judge the folks just by the government, else we must look in the mirror:what:

Lucky
May 17, 2007, 01:50 PM
Chopz, somehow it seems 'wrong' for the executive of gov't to 'teach poeple a lesson' when they haven't broken any laws or regulations. I don't know, just seems somehow unprofessional, sort of immoral, really scary.

chopz
May 17, 2007, 02:08 PM
well, i don't know if there's a law against making a phony phone call to the police here in the usa. not sure i'd like too try it, myself. and after getting brought in for that possible offense in the middle of the night (by a bunch of chagrined cops) i'm not sure how long it would take verizon to verify who was calling me and whether or not there actually was a phony phone call.

and i'm also curious to see how this guy is going to cash in on this publicity on ebay, when that statue goes up for auction.

cbsbyte
May 17, 2007, 02:25 PM
And in the USA, the Police routinely bust down the wrong door because of sloppy Police work. And in many cases they shoot to kill. It seems to me both countries are becoming police states, just at different paces.

Tob
May 17, 2007, 02:47 PM
Pastries...it was for the pastries...

atomd
May 17, 2007, 03:33 PM
Sadly, the doll may be facing some serious charges here. Laura is not helping this case by refusing to put down the weapon. She has made no demands and has the appearance of a stone cold killer. I hear Police are going to send in a life-size Elvis doll to negotiate. This could get ugly.

SSN Vet
May 17, 2007, 04:58 PM
is the perfect situation for an extreme frivolous lawsuit to retaliate.

not in the UK my friend.....no bill of rights over there....you get only the rights that parliment decides you should have.

Lucky
May 17, 2007, 05:42 PM
They did invent Tort law, with the snail in the ginger beer float and all, but yea like you say lawsuits against the gov't seem pretty exceptional.


Chopz you're right, it is possible he was playing a joke on the police when he reported harassing phone calls. But I find that unlikely, and irrelevant. He shouldn't be arrested summarily until until he can prove himself innocent of whatever 'crime' that is.

armedandsafe
May 17, 2007, 05:55 PM
I hear Police are going to send in a life-size Elvis doll to negotiate. This could get ugly.

I heard Bill Clinton volunteered to do that "in the interest of frindship." Now THAT would be ugly. :D

Pops

Phaetos
May 17, 2007, 06:21 PM
well, i don't know if there's a law against making a phony phone call to the police here in the usa.

Yes there is. And the guy didn't make a phony call to police. The story states that he had been receiving "nuisance calls" all evening and called the police about that.

Mongo the Mutterer
May 17, 2007, 06:29 PM
Ahem.

Calling Winston Smith...

You have to understand Groupthink to get the story.

Irwin
May 17, 2007, 06:35 PM
Did any Brits catch this in the papper the otherday? cause reasently in the sun and the star they have been going on about bs arrests by the police on the subject of stupid arrest my m8 whos a police officer the other day had to arrest a 14 yearold for stealing 40p from his mum i wish it was the 70's were the copper would just give them a clip round the ear. Also isnt it funny thats all of a sudden this thread has delved into french and brit bashing.
Irwin

bl4ckd0g
May 17, 2007, 06:40 PM
The police are the least of his issues if he has a life-sized mannequin of Lara Croft (poised in a pissy mood) stationed in his living room.

Zen21Tao
May 17, 2007, 07:16 PM
It's a good thing it wasn't a Rambo or Terminator mannequin in the shadows. Those crazy Brits would have called in the entire army to perform a tactical assault on his place for that. :D

Lucky
May 17, 2007, 07:29 PM
Irwin I think it says a lot, when stating the truth is referred to as 'bashing'. It's like calling a bald guy 'baldy' or a fat guy 'fatso'. Maybe it's not nice, but it's not untrue.

Meet someone with a British accent, and ask them how they feel about the police state coalescing in their homeland. I haven't met any that liked it.

jojosdad
May 17, 2007, 07:37 PM
Thank god he didn't have any pointy sticks or (gasp) comfy chairs!:neener:

griz
May 22, 2007, 01:05 PM
He is now on bail for a suspected firearms offence

With what offence can they charge him? Is it against the law to own a cartoon gun over there?

glockamolee
May 22, 2007, 02:36 PM
Oh well.

In the past, I've made comments regarding the 20th century history of British gun rights, and my (admittedly subjective) sociological/political observations regarding a supposedly free England.

The mod chastised me and locked the thread.

So, I'll keep most of my opinions to myself. :rolleyes:

But, best of luck to our British High Road members; I truly mean it.

Fosbery
May 22, 2007, 03:12 PM
not in the UK my friend.....no bill of rights over there....you get only the rights that parliment decides you should have.

Not true. English Bill of Rights predates the US Bill of Rights be some way. In fact your Bill of Rights, including the 2A, was based on our own, including our right to arms.

Unfortunately these rights are largely forgotten and illegally infringed upon.

Cosmoline
May 22, 2007, 03:26 PM
Anyone who can't tell that's not a human, even from its shadow alone, has no business on any police force. These guys were idiots, pure and simple. Worthless fools among the many worthless fools who seem to be running the show over there.

the guys was held for 13 hours, which doesn't seem overly long.

Ever tried it? But you're right--it had everything to do with teaching this "subject" of the crown that there is one law for him and another for the crown's jackboots. Rule of law? Forget about it.

Not true. English Bill of Rights predates the US Bill of Rights be some way. In fact your Bill of Rights, including the 2A, was based on our own, including our right to arms.


There is some notion of underlying rights in the UK, but there's nothing like our Constitution. The "rights" over there are a product of common law and magna carta. The Parliament can and does quash them as needed. Moreover, they don't have anything halfway as potent as our Article III courts. No British judge can shut down cities with a ruling or overthrow whole code sections. The courts are BENEATH Parliament, not coequal to it. Nor do they have section 1983 or other statutes specifically making violation of civil rights a crime and a matter for civil damages.

The UK is a true police state. I'm rooting for the criminals.

buzz_knox
May 22, 2007, 03:32 PM
Not true. English Bill of Rights predates the US Bill of Rights be some way. In fact your Bill of Rights, including the 2A, was based on our own, including our right to arms.

Unfortunately these rights are largely forgotten and illegally infringed upon.

The right to bear arms was codified in the Magna Carta, if memory serves. Unfortunately, England has long since gone to rule by common law only. And that is subject to change at the government's whim.

06
May 22, 2007, 04:13 PM
Chuckle, so asinine. I can just see them carrying the crazed gun-totin manequin out the crashed in door. Wonder how they placed their hands while carrying "her". Such a sad and silly situation. wc

gunsmith
May 22, 2007, 05:12 PM
If you got busted it was up to the Judge if you can get free legal advice.
It was not a given like it is here, probably similar to the UK.
A tradition of a free press didn't exist either.

By the way, what would a normal guy want with a life-size Lara Croft doll?

One that wanted to make a few bucks on Ebay.

sterling180
May 22, 2007, 05:13 PM
Next time round,C019 can storm the local PC World,Curries and Dixons stores,because they usually have Life-size Lara Croft figures,on full display.
This sounds so stupid,it should be sent into the programes'You've been framed' and Candid Camera,or even Trigger Happy Tv.

Oh look at that male cross-dressing psycho has dressed up as Lara Croft and is walking about,in the living room,of that house.We should call the police... DON'T PANIC,DON'T PANIC.

Fosbery
May 22, 2007, 05:36 PM
The British right to bear arms comes from the Bill of Rights, not the Magna Carta. The Bill of Rights is what gives parliament its very power. It is a contract between the institutions of soverign and and parliament, limiting each others power. It is not an act of parliament. Parliament only has two powers: to pass acts of parliament, and to repeal acts of parliament. It thus cannot repeal the Bill of Rights, nor can it make any law in breach of the Bill of Rights.

Of course, this is like saying that a ppeople cannot murder people: they cannot do it LEGALLY, but they still do.

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