ATF rids Univ. of ninja threat
By CAROLINE ERVIN
Published , April 12, 2006, 06:00:01 AM EDT
This photo, taken by a student’s camera phone, shows ATF officials pinning down Jeremiah Ransom in front of Snelling dining hall. He was coming from a pirate vs. ninja event at the Wesley Foundation and was not arrested. (Kathleen Ruark | The Red & Black)
ATF agents are always on alert for anything suspicious — including ninjas.
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm agents, on campus Tuesday for Project Safe Neighborhoods training, detained a “suspicious individual” near the Georgia Center, University Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said.
Jeremiah Ransom, a sophomore from Macon, was leaving a Wesley Foundation pirate vs. ninja event when he was detained.
After being held in investigative detention, he was found to have violated no criminal laws and was not arrested.
“It was surreal,” Ransom said. “I was jogging from Wesley to Snelling when I heard someone yell ‘freeze.’”
Ransom said he thought a friend was playing a joke before he realized officers had guns drawn and pointed at him.
ATF agents had noticed Ransom’s suspicious behavior and clothing and gave chase, apprehending him, Williamson said.
“Agents noticed someone wearing a bandanna across the face and acting in a somewhat suspicious manner, peeping around the corner,” said ATF special agent in charge Vanessa McLemore.
Ransom was wearing black sweatpants and an athletic T-shirt with one red bandanna covering the bottom half of his face and another covering the top of his head, Williamson said.
“Seeing someone with something across the face, from a federal standpoint — that’s not right,” McLemore said, explaining why agents believed something to be amiss.
Agents noticed Ransom peering around a corner and said when police sirens sounded, he took off running.
After chasing Ransom and identifying themselves, ATF agents detained him, turning him over once University Police arrived, McLemore said.
Ransom said Williamson told him the incident should not have been handled in such a manner and he would file a complaint with the ATF.
“I was in shock, to say the least,” Ransom said.