Pay Back…Squid admits to having made a prank call or two as a squidlet back in the day before caller ID (“Hey there was a fight near your lair…several fish were battered!”). Squid found this pastime hilarious. Back then, young’ns only had access to landlines and phone books, and resulted in some annoyed receivers. Today’s kids have mobile phones and the skill level to use technology for some high-level shenanigans. In the case of the 10-year-old boy who used an app to send himself a bomb threat against the Sunset Center in Carmel using a spoof number on July 19, the results went way beyond being annoying to downright criminal.
On July 24, the Weekly ran a blog post reporting that Carmel Police confirmed the boy—a child of a Bach Festival employee—made up the whole thing as a joke. The department also stated that the boy would not be charged with any offense due to his age and there were no plans to bill his parents for the law enforcement response, which included the Monterey County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad. Squid hasn’t been able to confirm how much such a thing would cost taxpayers, but it’s a safe guess, with all of the equipment and personnel that went out to search for the nonexistent bomb, to say it’s in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The kid’s mom reportedly called the police department to apologize, so no harm no foul, right?
Many of the Weekly’s Facebook followers beg to differ. Nearly 100 people have chimed in, and while some are saying the boy’s only 10 and everyone should lay off, dozens of angry folks want a pound of flesh—from monetarily through reimbursement for law enforcement costs, to seeing that the boy get a good old-fashioned spanking. Some want the boy to at least do some sort of community service to make sure he learns his lesson.
Squid found just the thing the boy could do as a service: cleaning up graffiti. Carmel City Administrator Chip Rerig reported in his weekly newsletter on July 26 that “some genius” tagged the inside of the public restroom near the intersection of Scenic Road and Santa Lucia Avenue. He attached a video loop showing the graffiti—swirly loops of teal spray paint and the words, “Be kind.”
In the same newsletter near the top, Rerig rightly commended those involved in the evacuation of the Sunset Center during the threat. Two items down came the note about the restroom vandals, and Rerig’s mood shifted.
“While we doubt this graffiti is gang or ‘tagging crew’ affiliated, we’re still incredibly angry in spit (sic) of the note to ‘BE KIND.’”
Rerig pointed out that the graffiti is vandalism, which is a crime.
“When we catch the culprit, they will be prosecuted, with fines and possible county jail time.”
To which Squid says, right! Because that costs the taxpayers a lot of money to clean it up. That sort of prank cannot be tolerated and…hey, wait a minute.