T rider makes false tip, prompting cops to bully a Cambridge man and his visiting friend. Commuters are put on hold.
(“Terrorist”: In the mass transportation system, everyone is a suspect.)
A hoaxer told police last week that two men wearing fatigues, and talking about drugs and guns, were headed for Logan Airport, according to one of the men targeted by the search.
State police, including one apparent smart-ass, detained the men for half an hour, after surrounding a train with bomb-sniffing dogs.
It took a while to find the men, who were not wearing fatigues, and had not been discussing illegal activity after all.
Almost unbelievably, the Boston transit police chief said he is grateful for the “tip,” because the department prides itself on erring on the side of caution.
A tip from a passenger and a manhunt that followed disrupted the Ts Red Line for about 13 minutes during rush hour Thursday morning, as police surrounded a train with bomb-sniffing dogs. It also forced Watchorn to miss a business trip to Buffalo while he was being questioned by State Police.
“The most disturbing thing about it was the apparent randomness of it,” Watchorn, 50, said. He said he wonders how easy it would be to subject others to what he considers hoaxes and to disrupt the transit system, based on an unsubstantiated tip.
Massachusetts police have repeatedly thrown the city into turmoil over science projects and ad campaigns in recent years.
The Boston Globe wanted to reach the hoaxer, but police would not reveal her identity.