'AK-47' That Prompted Panic Was Something Very Different

Police in New South Wales, Australia, say 'weapon' they found in car was actually just a bong
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2023 11:37 AM CDT
A Lot of People Called the Cops About This Bong
Photo of the "weapon."   (New South Wales Police, via BBC)

There was a bit of panic in Australia this week, after Sydney locals reported the sighting of a man carrying a frightening-looking assault rifle—but all was not what it seemed. The BBC reports that 911 calls started pouring in late Wednesday afternoon from the northwest side of the city, with callers saying they'd seen a man sporting what appeared to be an AK-47. A massive search was launched, with even a helicopter dispatched to see if police could track down the mystery man. Per the Guardian, CCTV video eventually drew cops to a parked car at a church. There wasn't anyone in the vehicle, but police say they did find the "AK-47."

Except it wasn't an AK-47 at all, but a water pipe in the shape of one, used to smoke pot—aka a bong, according to the New South Wales Police Force. The Sydney Morning Herald reports, perhaps unnecessarily, that the bong "could not fire any bullets." The paper also notes that anyone interested in this particular model can find it online for about $40. The suspect, a 50-year-old man who was eventually discovered in a nearby grassland, was arrested and charged with intimidation and possessing an unauthorized firearm. Both those charges carry a max of five years behind bars. The suspect, who was denied bail, is next set to appear in court on April 13. (More weird crimes stories.)

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