It's April Fools' Day, and police in Mankato, Minn. didn't find the day particularly funny this year. What was supposed to be a private Twitter message about a bomb at Minnesota State University-Mankato led police to a campus library all because of an apparent joke.
According to the Mankato Free Press, police were contacted by MSU-Mankato security officers around 2 a.m. on Wednesday regarding a Twitter message that indicated there was a bomb at Memorial Library. Police didn't find any suspicious objects during a search of the building according to Cmdr. Jeremy Clifton of the Department of Public Safety. Clifton added police knew early on that the threat didn't require a lockdown.
The person who sent the message told police he thought it could only be seen by one person, but it was seen by someone else who called campus security. The exact nature of the joke is unclear. No one was arrested and no charges are expected because there wasn't any criminal intent, but Clifton said such an incident robbed police resources that could have been utilized elsewhere, perhaps in the event of an actual emergency.
Police said it can be especially difficult to determine a person's intent when a prank is sent through social media.
"There can be unintended consequences in what you send in, just word format when it's not coupled with other body language or any of those other subtle nuances we use as human beings," Clifton said.