'Suspicious toilet' provokes Maryland bomb scare

Courthouse crapper armed with 'electronic device'


A "suspicious toilet" left outside a government building yesterday provoked a full-scale bomb alert in Towson, Maryland.

A security guard spotted the white crapper dumped outside the Old Courthouse at around 8am, and called in the cops. According to the Towson Times, the porcelain loo was packed with "some type of electronic device, along with a cellphone and some notes" and decorated with "a scrap of newspaper, as well as a piece of cardboard with a message written on it".

Baltimore County Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Robert McCullough explained: “The suspect in this case clearly left the items in such a fashion that a reasonable person would suspect it’s a dangerous device.”

Cue bomb squad intervention, with a sniffer dog and remote-controlled robot first checking out the suspect dunny before a human operative moved in to confirm the bog wasn't going to go bang.

McCullough said: “Our hazardous device team, working with police investigators, investigated the situation and found that there was no danger.”

Police later confirmed that they have a suspect, and the Towson Times reckons it flushed him out. The paper says one of the notes attached to the toilet read: "We, the undersigned, are supporters of Duane Gerald Davis (Shorty)."

It elaborates: "The note identified Davis as a 'well respected' area resident, calling on the city of Zion, Illinois, to 'conduct a complete and impartial investigation' into Davis' son's death in 2006."

A quick scoot down to Facebook pinpointed one Duane G Davis – a "Baltimore resident originally from Zion and the owner of Shorty's Underground Pit Beef Shack in Upperco".

Confronted at his Underground Pit Beef, Davis said: "I don't know nothing about it."

However, he did admit he'd "auctioned off toilets to raise money for the homeless for years", with the American Visionary Art Museum being among the owners of his work.

Davis cryptically explained: "They're parting gifts. A toilet ain't racist, it don't care who sits on it, it don't care who uses it."

He then abruptly terminated the interview to head off to court, apparently to renounce his US citizenship prior to upping sticks to "whatever country will take me".

McCullough said whoever left the toilet "could be charged with crimes related to placing a lookalike explosive device in a public space".

The Towson Times has a photo of a relieved bomb squad chap walking away from the disarmed lavatory right here. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Red Hat Kubernetes security report finds people are the problem
    Puny human brains baffled by K8s complexity, leading to blunder fears

    Kubernetes, despite being widely regarded as an important technology by IT leaders, continues to pose problems for those deploying it. And the problem, apparently, is us.

    The open source container orchestration software, being used or evaluated by 96 per cent of organizations surveyed [PDF] last year by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has a reputation for complexity.

    Witness the sarcasm: "Kubernetes is so easy to use that a company devoted solely to troubleshooting issues with it has raised $67 million," quipped Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at IT consultancy The Duckbill Group, in a Twitter post on Monday referencing investment in a startup called Komodor. And the consequences of the software's complication can be seen in the difficulties reported by those using it.

    Continue reading
  • Infosys skips government meeting - and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a “technical glitch” that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use
    Phew!

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022