Terror alert robot: Denver faces threat from 8-inch-tall toy

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

Police in Denver on Thursday night ended a tense hours-long standoff near Coors Field—by blowing up an 8-inch-tall toy robot.

The Denver Post reported that a citizen notified police on Thursday afternoon about the presence of the white plastic toy at the base of a pillar supporting a footbridge near Denver's 20th Street. The robot had apparently been cemented into place there.

Authorities closed off the street and barred anyone from coming within 100 yards of the automaton, although some people were allowed in to retrieve their cars.

When told why he would have to go out of his way to get to his home on the other side of the closed-off area, local resident Justin Kent said, "I can't believe it. This is ridiculous."

As traffic stacked up around the closed street and residents stacked up in a nearby bar waiting for the situation to play out, a bomb squad robot and a bomb squad officer were both sent in separately to investigate the toy. When they couldn't determine whether it was harmless or the latest terrorist threat, police remotely detonated the tiny intruder just to be on the safe side.

A police spokesman said it was "odd" that the robot was cemented to the pillar, which made the situation strange enough for the authorities to get involved. But the robot turned out to be just a toy in the end.

Police had no leads on who planted the robot there or why, but a similar incident happened in Boston three years ago, when a series of light-up cartoon screens were posted around the city and sparked fears of terrorism. It turned out to be part of a marketing campaign.

What do you think? Is the "attack" in Denver just the leading edge of an invasion of tiny robots from space? Or is it some new Al-Qaeda method of psychological warfare?

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