An ill-conceived publicity stunt by a sales manager at Dell ended in a raid by a SWAT team and two arrests, after alarmed passers-by called the emergency services.
The stunt involved a man dressed in black biker gear and carrying what are described as two metal objects descending on an office block in Round Rock Texas earlier this week and telling all and sundry to "go to the lobby".
The stunt was apparently connected in some way with the computer maker's Streak tablet product but witnesses caught up in the kerfuffle quite reasonably called 911.
A SWAT team was soon dispatched to Building One, at 501 Dell Way and two Dell employees - the 'biker' and his manager - were subsequently arrested
Police spokesman Eric Poteet confirmed the arrests. "Apparently somebody had the brilliant idea to stage an internal promotional marketing exercise and neglected to inform the police they were going to do this,” he told local reporters. He said officers had partially evacuated the building before finding out that the incident was supposed to be a stunt and there was no man with a gun.
Dell confirmed the stunt was “an unfortunate choice” of a product sales promotion.
“This was an internal promotional event to support one of our product lines,” spokesman David Frink said. “One of our team members made an unfortunate choice and wore a black mask into the building and frightened other team members.”
He added: "We are grateful that there wasn’t a serious event under way.”
The two employees face misdemeanor charges of Interfering with Public Duties and Deadly Conduct.