In today’s age of gun violence at schools, anything and everything can be construed as a precursor to the next classroom shooting. Wearing a trench coat? You might be hiding a gun under there. Got a crazy look in your eye? You might be plotting a mass murder. Eating an ice-cream cone? Oh my God, drop the weapon!
But if you think that you can get away with eating an ice-cream cone and wearing a trench coat with a crazy look in your eye in a law school classroom, you’ve got another thing coming — especially if you allegedly proceed to flip tables, leap over desks, and run up and down the aisles like a wild man while blathering incoherently.
And, perhaps most fittingly, this happened during a torts class….
This all went down at Seattle University School of Law, a place where professors apparently have panic buttons installed in their podiums (presumably used when the students find out there aren’t very many jobs to be had). The Seattle Times has a report on the incident that unfolded during a first-year torts class:
A man who took over a Seattle University law-school classroom Wednesday afternoon and frightened students with his bizarre behavior was later arrested by Seattle police on suspicion of trespassing.
Several students said his behavior was so unsettling that they thought he was going to pull a gun or become violent. They also said they were disappointed at the slow response from campus public-safety officers.
This situation was so “terrifying” that a student took the time to whip out a cellphone and start filming:
A cellphone video identified as taken during the incident, and which was posted to Facebook, showed a man running up and down the aisles of the classroom, leaping over desks as students hastily packed up their laptops and backpacks and left the room.
“It was horrifying,” said another student who asked not to be named. “I thought we were going to be that next school in the news about school shootings.”
Of course that student didn’t want to be named. Why give Seattle Law a heads up as to who’ll be filing the first emotional distress lawsuit? Other students — the more rational ones — say they’re “flabbergasted” at the media’s response, and that this whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion. You be the judge:
I am one of the students who was in the class at the time. Although the incident was a little odd (most of us thought it was performance art at first) it was certainly not terrifying. … At no time did he actually threaten anyone.
Note to disgruntled Seattle students: save that “performance art” defense for the next time you allegedly cause a scene on campus and are taken away in cuffs like this fellow. Here’s another student’s take on the incident:
I’m a student at SU Law, was not in the class that this happened, but had a class in the classroom right afterwards. There were not tables overturned; the desks are bolted to the floor. There were candy wrappers left on the floor. The partial video shows students packing up books and laptops at a casual pace. … Wackos come in all sizes and colors, not just black trench coats.
It looks like there’s a crucial lesson to be learned from this contretemps at Seattle Law, and that’s if you’ve got an ice-cream cone, you’re probably going to be considered armed and dangerous from this point forward.
We’re left with just one very important question: what flavor was the ice cream?
UPDATE (1:15 p.m.): KOMO News has clips of the Seattle Law ice-cream assailant’s classroom invasion:
Intruder terrifies students in Seattle University class [Seattle Times]
Belligerent intruder barges into Seattle University law class [KOMO News]