Disguises, fake guns trigger police, calls for OSA in Bay of Plenty

New Zealand

The Armageddon participant was apparently holding a replica of the chainsaw gun from the Gears of War video game. Photo / Getty Images

Costumed people carrying fake weapons yesterday triggered two police calls in the Bay of Plenty, including one where the Armed Offenders Squad was deployed.

The first incident happened near the Trustpower Baypark arena, which hosts the Armageddon Expo this weekend.

People often attend Armageddon events in costume – or “cosplaying” – as characters from popular culture such as movies, TV shows, comics, and video games.

A police spokesperson said police were called into the arena to report that a person was carrying what appeared to be a gun.

Police were aware of the nature of the Armageddon event but are taking all reports seriously, the spokesperson said.

Police attended and found an event participant in a costume with a dummy weapon.

The dummy weapon was best described as a “chainsaw / sword,” police reported.

Armageddon event manager Therese Costello told the Bay of Plenty Times the attendee was apparently heading to the venue when police were called.

“They were cosplaying someone from Gears of War, the video game where the primary weapon is a chainsaw gun,” she said.

“It’s not the first time that something like this has happened. We’ve had calls a few times over the years, just from people going to the show and the general public didn’t know what was going on, and the police are called. “

The participant in Armageddon - or "cosplayer" - was disguised as someone from a video game when the police were called.  Photo / Megan Wilson
The Armageddon participant – or “cosplayer” – was disguised as someone from a video game when the police were called. Photo / Megan Wilson

Hours later, in Rotorua, the Armed Offenders Squad was deployed after police received a report of a person carrying a gun on Pukuatua Street in the CBD, the police spokesperson said.

The call arrived around 7:50 p.m.

“The OSAs were deployed as a precaution but the gun turned out to be a fake, and the person carrying it was attending a costume party.”

He said the event was a “camo party”.

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