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'Zombies' held for carrying fake bomb

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Six friends spruced up in fake blood and tattered clothes were arrested in downtown Minneapolis on suspicion of toting "simulated weapons of mass destruction."

Police said the group were allegedly carrying bags with wires sticking out, making it look like a bomb, while meandering and dancing to music as part of a "zombie dance party" Saturday night.

"They were arrested for behavior that was suspicious and disturbing," said Lt. Gregory Reinhardt, a police spokesman. Police also said the group was uncooperative and intimidated people with their "ghoulish" makeup.

One group member said the "weapons" were actually backpacks modified to carry a homemade stereo and were jailed without reason. None of the six adults and one juvenile arrested have been charged.

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"Given the circumstance of them being uncooperative ... why would you have those (bags) if not to intimidate people?" said inspector Janee Harteau. "It's not a case of (police) overreacting."

Harteau also said police were on high alert because they'd gotten a bulletin about men who wear clown makeup while attacking and robbing people in other states.

Kate Kibby, one of those arrested, said previous zombie dance parties at the Mall of America and on light-rail trains have occurred without incident. Last fall, nearly 200 people took part in a "zombie pub crawl" in northeast Minneapolis.

Kibby said they were cooperative and followed the two officers to the station, where they were questioned and eventually loaded into a van and booked into jail.

"It was clear to us that they were trying to get a rise out of us," KIbby said.

Members of the group could face lesser charges like disorderly conduct, police said.

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