11-05-2008, 02:23 PM
Direct Action Resistance Fighter
Joined: Aug 2006
Students in 'Weird Science' Halloween party arrested under anti-terror laws
Quote:A group of students had their 'Mad Scientist' party brought to an abrupt end when police mistook them for terrorists.
The private party, held in Hackney, north London, was organised by a group of friends dressed in white laboratory coats and wigs, who put on a display of theatrical 'experiments' to entertain guests.
But when police entered the building for a routine check in the early hours of Sunday morning, they discovered scientific debris and plastic skeletons and mistook it for terrorist paraphernalia or drug-making equipment.
Caretaker of the property, Richard Watson, 29, was arrested under The Anti-Terrorism Act and questioned while the entire area was evacuated and roads cordoned off with police tape.
He said: 'I was handcuffed and put in the back of the police van for over an hour while the bomb squad and drugs team came down.
'There was a ridiculous amount of police there. Every time I looked out of the van I could see a new group of them swarming around.'
Three fire engines and three ambulances were also called to the scene as Mr Watson was searched and interrogated.
He said: 'They told me they were arresting me on suspicion of making explosives. I laughed at first but then I realised they were being serious.
'I appreciate that the police are under a lot of pressure and they have to be very cautious about terrorist issues but this was all just food colouring, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.'
Police later released Mr Watson without charge.
Timmy Sampson, 27, was one of the 'mad scientists' conducting the experiments.
'Myself and a few friends decided on a bad science theme for the party. We were all wearing crazy wigs and lab coats', he said.
'I brought down my childhood chemistry set and a few teddy bears for us to dissect in front of our friends. It was hilarious, we were making things fizz and pop and throwing talcum powder around. It was like a performance art piece.
'The police saw all the mess and assumed that we were making bombs which I thought was a bit presumptuous considering it had just been Halloween.'
The group of party-goers, calling themselves The Bearded Kitten/Sugar House Gang have cult notoriety in London for their subversive gatherings and live events.
One of the organisers, Barney Sutton, 26, said: 'We just like playing silly games and creating a ludicrous atmosphere at parties and events. We've never been mistaken for terrorists before.'
Shanara Begum, 26, a spokesperson for Hackney Police said: 'A raid was conducted on the property and some paraphernalia was found. The London fire brigade and expo teams were also called to the scene.
'The expo teams deal with bomb threats and explosives but the scene was later declared non-suspicious and the case was handed over to Tower Hamlets our neighbouring borough.'
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|Students in 'Weird Science' Halloween party arrested under anti-terror laws - TriWooOx - 11-05-2008 02:23 PM
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