- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2017

Pace University in New York City was evacuated Thursday after a report about a man with a machine gun turned out to be a man wearing a decorative bullet belt — a garment popular in the punk and metal music scenes.

John Miller, the New York City Police Department’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism, said several people at the lower Manhattan school witnessed the belt on the floor of a bathroom stall and reported seeing a man inside with a machine gun loading a magazine, a local NBC affiliate reported.

The school was evacuated and officers tracked down the man who was wearing the belt, determining that he didn’t pose a threat.

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“His belt was just a belt that he wore as part of his wardrobe,” Mr. Miller said. “A fashion statement — but probably not a very good fashion statement.”

“In the great law of unintended consequences, what we had was well meaning complainants who made and observation and did the right thing and called the police,” he said, noting that it “turns out to be a happy, if slightly awkward, ending for the individual that wears the belt.”

Freshman Olivia D’Addario told the New York Daily News that the messy information caused rumors to spread like wildfire.

“There were all these different rumors going on, like someone said somebody got shot, and somebody said ‘Oh, there’s a bomb,’” she said. “There were just so many different rumors. Someone wearing a backpack with ammo was another.”

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