Colored Flour = Felony Terrorism Charges

As is well known to the readers of The Liberty Papers and The Unrepentant Individual, I love beer. It’s also true, largely due to drinking beer, that I could stand to be in better shape. So when I one day found the sport of hashing, I was excited. Sometimes called “a drinking club with a running problem”, it’s an excuse for runners to drink (or in my case, for drinkers to run).

Unfortunately, life got in the way, and I haven’t had a chance to get involved in a hashing club. It’s probably for the best, though, because some hashers found themselves in quite hot water recently:

Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge.

The sprinkled powder forced hundreds to evacuate an IKEA furniture store Thursday.

New Haven ophthalmologist Daniel Salchow, 36, and his sister, Dorothee, 31, who is visiting from Hamburg, Germany, were both charged with first-degree breach of peace, a felony.

Daniel Salchow biked back to IKEA when he heard there was a problem and told officers the powder was just harmless flour, which he said he and his sister have sprinkled everywhere from New York to California without incident.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I ever anticipate anything like that,” he said.

Phew. Thank god our fine law enforcement has saved us from crazy ophthalmologists with flour!

In a sane world I would expect that law enforcement would realize that they’ve overreacted, and everyone would go on there merry way… Knowing the world we live in, though, it makes perfect sense that this would be blown out of proportion and these people brought up on felony charges. After all, if the local authorities admit they made a mistake, they might have to answer to someone for it. Much better to simply deny they’ve done anything wrong and blame the victim!

And that’s just what the spokeswoman has done:

Mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said the city plans to seek restitution from the Salchows, who are due in court Sept. 14.

“You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know,” she said. “It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We’re thankful it wasn’t, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out.”

However, federal authorities have raised us to threat level Orange, until the below terrorist is apprehended.

Hat Tip: Billy Beck

  • UCrawford

    I went to a friend’s wedding with a bunch of military folk, and we got to talking about how the Department of Homeland Security and 90% of the anti-terrorism laws are such a sick joke that should be abolished. God, I hate the Bush years.

    Great post, Brad.

  • Pingback: Beer Drinking Terrorists On The Run : Hear ItFrom.Us()

  • Isaac

    This is absolutely horrendous. I’m writing a letter to the police station involved thoroughly ridiculing them for their childish behavior!

  • Norm Nelson

    I think this must be a pretty common technique. I heard this story some time ago then two weeks later saw a couple of runners doing this funny arm swing thing as they jaunted along. It looked like some Monty Python kind of thing. This is California so strange things are expected. Turns out that they had a “mystery powder” in a squirt top water bottle and were painting the sidewalk every 50 feet or so. I assume since it was a Friday night that they were marking a course for Saturday morning.

    There must be a doughnut joke in this somewhere relating cops and flour but my segway module is out for calibration.

  • Brad Warbiany


    Where in Cali are you?

  • Norm Nelson

    I’m in the San Jose area.

  • Brad Warbiany

    Well, if you’re ever in the OC area, drop me a note. I’m always looking for like-minded folks to sit around and drink a few pints.

    And if you’re in San Jose, check out Trials Pub… My old stompin’ ground…