Los Angeles Police stormed video game company Robotoki headquarters Last Friday night in what turned into an armed standoff with a life-sized Call of Duty statue.
After an unknown employee hit the ‘panic’ button within the office that immediately alerts police, LAPD entered the game developer’s studio around 7 PM and detained the studio head before centering in on the life-sized Call of Duty ‘Ghost’ statue. Based on a special forces character from the game, the statue can be seen above wearing military-grade equipment and wielding an AR-15. Visible from outside the offices, the police spotted the realistic statue from outside and assumed they were facing a hostage/terror situation.
Studio head Robert Bowling told Polygon:
“I was in my office when they arrived and saw them coming up our stairs, guns drawn… They yelled for me to put my hands up and walk towards them slowly, then took me into custody and out of the studio until they cleared the rest of the rooms and floors.”
In turn, they entered the building armed with rifles and in anticipation of a potential fire fight. Less than a half hour into the standoff between the Ghost statue and police, they realized that they were in fact having an armed stand still with an inanimate object — a realization that came before they decided to blast the perceived intruder.
As it turns out, the police really had no idea what they were truly responding to. And while it was originally reported that the panic button had been activated by a third party as a prank, or even an employee who thought that the statue was a terrorist, apparently someone simply hit it without truly knowing its purpose.
“You see on a security camera, them looking at this panic button, looking around, discussing it, then pressing it and looking around to see what happens. And nothing happened right away,” said Bowling.