It appears now that the real issue for the New Haven officials is money:
The cost of the public safety response to Thursday’s “white powder” scare that closed the Ikea store on Sargent Drive for four hours was more than $50,000, a city spokeswoman said Monday.
The incident drew dozens of New Haven and state police officers, firefighters, health department workers, FBI agents and other personnel from New Haven and neighboring communities, as well as special equipment from the U.S. Postal Service’s Wallingford processing center, which authorities say is the only place in the state that has such equipment.
It prompted the evacuation of Ikea at about 5 p.m. and kept it closed until the next morning — but the “white powder” turned out to be flour used to mark a running trail by local members of the international Hash House Harriers running club.
The group holds runs with similar trails all over the world, including New York City, Washington, D.C., and Baghdad.
“There’s not an exact number yet” for the total cost of the response “but we’re looking at upwards of $50,000,” said Jessica Mayorga, spokeswoman for the Police Department and Mayor John DeStefano Jr.
On Friday, Mayorga said officials were inclined to seek restitution from the two “hashers” who were charged with a felony in the case. She said after a meeting Monday on the case that no determination was made on whether to seek restitution.
The article goes on to point out that the felony the two are charged with requires someone to intentionally place something hazardous in a public place, and since this is clearly not the case, it is hard to conclude anything other than that the two were charged with felonies to help shake them down for cash to “recoup” the losses of the government.
It is disgusting. Taxpayers fund the government, fund all of these activities and officials, and then, when they misuse them, they charge folks with a felony to try to get more money. The mafia has more shame.
And the pigheadedness continues in earnest:
Chief of Police Francisco Ortiz Jr., in a statement relayed through Mayorga, said, “We stand by the fact that we did the right thing.” He added, “We have an obligation to look out for the best interests of the people of New Haven and therefore we won’t take situations like this lightly.”
Translation- we will feel free to overreact in the future and have not learned a damned thing from this episode.