Canada
Vancouver dodgeball team mistaken for gangsters

Credits: AARON HINKS/QMI AGENCY

QMI AGENCY

VANCOUVER - They might be able to dodge balls, but they couldn't dodge the police.

A group of 10 people were pulled from a Vancouver train Thursday after police received reports there were gang members with weapons on the train.

Police swarmed the train and ordered everyone on board to put their hands on their heads, Transit Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan said in a statement.

When the 10 suspected gang members were pulled off the train, they were all identified and police realized they were employees of the restaurant English Bay Cactus Club who were on their way to a charity dodgeball tournament. All the members of the team had dressed in costume as the West Coast Gangsters. Their outfits came complete with bandanas, a prop gun and temporary tattoos.

A pellet gun was found in a bag, police said. No one was injured.

Cactus Club spokeswoman Jill Batie called the misunderstanding "unfortunate."

Despite the hiccup, the group managed to make it to the afternoon fundraiser featuring around 30 other teams.

Police warned of the "extreme risks" of carrying any type of imitation weapon in public.

"The group was provided with a stern warning," Drennan added. "‘Man with a gun' calls are taken very seriously by police and the potential for injury is high."

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