A man went to a bad taste party in Christchurch the other day, dressed as a suicide bomber. When trying to go to nightclubs afterwards, he was denied entry while carrying a pretend bomb that looked like dynamite taped together with a clock and some wires, so he threw it in the bin. The next day a homeless man, rummaging through the bin looking for food, found the 'bomb' and alerted police. The police called in the bomb squad and the centre of Christchurch was closed down and blocked off for 6 hours. When the man heard about what was going on via media reports, he contacted the police and was very co-operative, although embarrassed, about the incident. The police decided not to lay any charges, which is great, as far as I was concerned.
Here's the situation as I saw it. A man dresses as a suicide bomber and carries a fake bomb. He's out to have a good time, probably with a bunch of other bad taste dressers. It's obvious what the situation is, but bouncers deny him entry while he's carrying the fake bomb. As you'd expect. It's obvious they knew it was a fake bomb as the police weren't called about a suicide bomber trying to get into nightclubs to blow them up! So anyway, the guy throws the toy away and goes into the nightclub. Having thrown it into a bin, you'd think that's the last he'd hear of it.
But nooooo… downtown Christchurch is closed off because of a bomb in a bin. The man calls up, mortified about what occurred, and is co-operative. The police, who had gone to so much effort to defuse a potential bomb and save so many people's lives, decided not to lay any charges. What charges could be laid anyway? There was no intent for public harm or mischief, and it was a simple misunderstanding based on circumstances. A sign of the times, so to speak.
However, here's where my outrage starts coming into play. As a result of the police not laying any charges against the guy, business owners in the centre of Christchurch are now wanting to take the guy to civil claims court in order to recover loss of trade, with the estimate by one of them as being up to $10,000. If a number of business get together and do this, the guy could be going to trial and held liable for many thousands of dollars.
If the guy hadn't come forward, it would have been determined the bomb was a hoax, a 'sick joke', and life would have gone on as normal. There wouldn't be any court cases, wouldn't be anyone liable for loss of business, etc. Everyone's lives would have gone on as normal, with these people in Christchurch excited or inconvenienced by the ongoing paranoia caused by the 'war on terror'. But since a guy came forward, advised everyone it was a mistake, a misunderstanding, now greedy people want compensation.
The obvious solution here is that it's not a good thing to come forward and say, "Hey, you people are overreacting here. It's a toy bomb, it's in the bin because it's a toy and it's rubbish, and there's really nothing to worry about." If you do, people are going to follow the American way and try to get as much money from you as they possibly can.
Honesty? In the eyes of the law, it's appreciated. In the eyes of greedy sonsofbitches, honesty is simply something they can try to make money from. Arseholes.
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