Make-believe war games prompt real-life siege in Denmark

A game of cops and robbers became a little too authentic for two Danish teenagers this week, after armed police turned their fantasy into reality. Officers drew their weapons and demanded the boys to stand down after hearing reports of ‘armed black-clad men’ near a bank in Vemmelev.

The two 15 year-olds, who were wearing face masks, carrying BB guns and apparently playing war, set pulses racing when one of them decided to perch on the roof between the bank and a supermarket to get a better vantage point on his opponent.

“When we receive reports of an armed man near, for example banks, we take it very seriously,” said Chief Inspector Jorgen Christensen in a report by Sjaellandske. “We drew our weapons because it is impossible to distinguish between hardball guns and real weapons, and we take no chances in those sorts of situations,” he added.

According to the reports, the boy on the roof gave himself up straight away when he found himself staring down the barrel of a genuine fire arm. “Immediately afterwards his friend came out of the bushes in a balaclava and black clothes and armed with an MP5 machine gun. He also surrendered immediately and explained that he and his friend had just been playing war,” Christensen said.

“But it’s stupid to do something like that near a bank. In fact it’s illegal to run around with weapons or something that looks like a weapon, in a public place. They should be using the woods or suchlike,” he added.

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