LAX 'shooting' scare: Man in Zorro costume arrested following false reports of gunshots

'Poor Zorro had nothing to do with it – I was next to him in baggage claim when it all started. Super nice guy,' witness says

May Bulman
Monday 29 August 2016 11:41
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The footage shows a man dressed as Zorro being surrounded by six police officers and ordered to get on the ground
The footage shows a man dressed as Zorro being surrounded by six police officers and ordered to get on the ground

A man dressed as fictional character Zorro has been arrested following false reports of shots being fired at Los Angeles International Airport.

One bystander claimed the man was a "super nice guy" who had not done anything wrong, but the incident resulted in delays for some passengers, including BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker whose flight to LA was diverted.

Video footage showed a man sitting outside the airport wearing black clothing and a black hat, before being surrounded by six police officers ordering him to "get on the ground".

As the man got down onto the floor, a police officer aimed his gun at him and shouted: "Leave your sword there."

Once he was on the floor another officer orders him to "move over", at which point the black-clad man said: "It's a plastic sword."

The man was then asked to spread his arms on the floor, which he did, before the police officers arrested him.

A woman could be heard in the background shouting: "He didn't do anything."

Airport officials confirmed the arrest in a tweet. "Individual in Zorro costume has been detained," they said.

The incident came after earlier reports of gunshots sparked panic and prompted passengers to run out of the airport.

But within an hour the Los Angeles Police Department had said that no shots had been fired, but they would continue to investigate the “loud noises” that caused the security alert.

It was not clear whether the arrest of "Zorro" was linked to the investigation.

Sarah Yeomans, who said she was near the man at the airport, just before he was arrested, said he had not done anything wrong.

"Poor Zorro had nothing to do with it – I was next to him in baggage claim when it all started. Super nice guy [...] He truly didn't do anything," she wrote on Twitter.

Lineker, the former England international, was among those whose flights were affected by the incident.

He tweeted: "Flight I'm on to LA diverted to Las Vegas due to guy dressed as Zorro waving a plastic sword at LAX.

"Presumably he was on his way to Vegas."

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