Every April 1, many of us fall victim to April Fools’ jokes, especially in the age of social media. The vast majority of them are harmless, even if they’re annoying. But it was the opposite last week for a factory in Ohio, which suffered a prank that went way, way too far.
An employee at the Navistar truck and van assembly factory in Springfield falsely reported an active shooter on April 1, prompting a widespread law enforcement response to the plant.
According to local law enforcement, the employee — a 57-year-old woman from nearby New Carlisle, Ohio — texted her sister that morning saying an active shooter was reported at the plant. That sister then called 911, which led to the county-wide police response.
Deputies reportedly first arrived at the plant within two minutes of the call and immediately began searching the facility for an active shooter before they were eventually alerted that it was an April Fools' joke.
According to local news reports, the 911 dispatch quoted the sister, saying, “She said there was a guy that got fired yesterday and he came in with a gun and they are barricaded with the lights off in an office. She sent me a text, and I’m afraid to text her if they are barricaded and hiding.”
The worker was arrested for inciting panic and booked into Clark County Jail, where bond was set for $2,500.
A Clark County Sheriff’s Office major said, “She put a lot of people in danger today over a stupid joke.”
Besides the aspect of inducing a panic, who does that to their sister?
The incident is especially in bad taste considering a growing number of deadly factory shootings in recent years, including one just two weeks earlier at a Roundy’s food distribution center in Southeast Wisconsin, where an employee gunned down two co-workers before killing himself.