A Gloucestershire home was swarmed by police after a tip from an unidentified Facebook user reported the image to authorities, seemingly believing the man had a mortar in his home, which had been displayed in a profile picture posted to Facebook.
The image shows "Action Man", a toy action figure, with a toy dog; the "mortar" was in the background.
According to CNET
, five carloads of police showed up at Ian Driscoll's Tewkesbury house "armed with guns and a search warrant." The Daily Mail reported two of the officers were carrying submachine guns.
Police had reportedly told Driscoll it was a good thing he was home at the time when they'd arrived or else the door would have had to be broken down.
Expecting to find a weapon, imagine the police's reaction when they found a plastic toy rather than a real mortar. Police said they were relieved to find out the mortar was only a toy and that this ending was better than a potential situation where the public could have been at risk.
"The information was given to us in good faith and we acted with good intentions," said Gloucestershire police spokesman Alexa Collicott. "We are sure that the community would rather we acted quickly on information given to us of this nature, in case it had turned out to be a weapon."
The photo still appears on Driscoll's Facebook page
. What's interesting is it's been up for a while, there are comments under the photo that date back to the first week of December.
“The Action Man looked a bit like me, so I decided to put it as my Facebook picture,” Driscoll, 43, said, reported the Daily Mail
. “I didn’t even notice the mortar in the background.”
Another point to note, a remote control also sits in the photo, which indicates scale. Gawker
questioned if anyone actually looked at the photo.
"I couldn’t believe someone thought it was real," Driscoll, who is a model maker, told the media. "It’s tiny and quite clearly a toy. I can’t stop laughing. I think it’s hilarious."