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Posted on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

Man wearing gas mask and holding cat sign on U-M campus was 'a joke'

By Kyle Feldscher

Previous: Suspicious person in fatigues causes alarm on University of Michigan campus

A University of Michigan student wearing fatigues, a black jacket, a gas mask and an empty ammunition pack wearing a sign with a cat on it was the cause of panic on campus Thursday, according to the Michigan Daily.

The Daily interviewed the engineering junior who said his actions were “more or less a joke.” That joke caused police to respond to the Angell Hall complex at noon Thursday after reports of a suspicious person made their way to U-M Police.

According to the Daily, the man was holding a sign with a picture of the Internet meme “Grumpy Cat.” The sign’s message? “Love is in the air? Get out the gas mask.”

Police searched for the person and were unable to find anything suspicious. The area was declared safe at approximately 1 p.m.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Milton Shift

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

I can understand their response (who would want to be that horrid cop who failed to prevent "Saint Valentine's Massacre of 2013"?) but I can also understand the humor behind what he did. All I can say is, probably better not to do things like this these days, at least not without some precautions taken to avoid misinterpretations that could lead to getting shot.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

@Gargoyle. When did we lose our commonsense and good manners ?

Chip Reed

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

The only guy who gets to wear a mask is the violin guy...


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

Stupid. Wearing gas masks and fatigues are not a joke these days. Clearly trying to provoke.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

That caused a panic?

Seth Best

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

Are you my Mummy?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

Make a 2X2 matrix people Across the top PERSON IS A HARMLESS IDIOT & PERSON IS SERIOUSLY DANGEROUS Down the side UM POLICE DON'T RESPOND & UM POLICE DO RESPOND In 3 of the 4 possibilities, things are likely to turn out OK. In 1 of the 4 possibilities, things could have turned out very very bad. And there are people who think that the UM police shouldn't have investigated? There is no evidence whatsoever that they over-reacted. No one was arrested. No one was harmed. No one's free speech rights were violated. As far as I can see (based solely on this article) everything went as it should have: Investigate, assess, and move on.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

Wow. That guy went to a lot of trouble to do something that wasn't even remotely funny. What does a does a stinky cat have to do with Valentine's Day? I don't mind some people being concerned about someone dressed and behaving that way. I don't mind UMPD checking him out. Happens all the time. UM has had a long tradition of unusual characters and strange jokes. But, like one person alluded to here, I'd rather the UMPD checked it out before something happened (doesn't have to be a massacre, could be an argument that leads to an assault or whatever). Unlike some others overreacting here and demanding the fellow face some "consequences", I'm also glad the UMPD decided this was just a stupid kid and didn't lock him up. We shouldn't be arrested for mere bad judgment or bad taste.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

I must be old. I don't get it.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

Just look at pictures of Grumpy Cat on google. You will have fun.

Dr. Fate

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Love stinks? /shrug


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

That's a did what? That's the kind of "joke" that gets you shot by police. I get why he thought it may be funny, but after recent events it's at minimum an insensitive joke and he's lucky it didn't turn out worse. Just because it is legal to do doesn't mean you should do it.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

Furthermore, having been in the building when this happened, I can tell you it's not exactly a comforting thing to have a DPS alert sent out saying there's a guy in military gear and a gas mask parading around the building with a slightly sinister sign around his neck. It's one thing to protest, or "express yourself", in the middle of the diag, it's another to go through campus buildings.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

No one said he didn't have the right to do it, in fact I even said "just because it's legal", but just because you have the right doesn't mean you should do things like this. The KKK can say whatever they want, and that's their right, but that doesn't mean their opinion isn't ignorant, insensitive and stupid. I can go around calling people ugly to their face all day long, but if I get hit in the face by someone after doing it I can't exactly say I didn't have it coming. If you dress like a bank robber and go into a bank - there's likely going to be a negative reaction. The argument here is not if he had the right to do so or not, the argument is that he shouldn't have done so because doing so was insensitive and stupid.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

We have free speech...but you better watch what you say. Oh & now we have "free speech zones"


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

I prefer a perhaps somewhat ill-advised joke that is taken a little too serious over the frightening alternative any day.

Jim H

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:15 a.m.

When I was at UM, there was a guy that dressed as tooth decay and handed out toothbrushes, I guess he would get 10 - 20 these days.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

"We put holes in teeth"

Jack Gladney

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:57 a.m.

Tooth decay is not a smiling matter.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

Boy, I really don't understand why this is not taken seriously by some of you. If my child were taking a class in that building or studying in the fishbowl I would have been down there with my rolling pin at the ready. A guy with a gas mask on and wearing fatigues is kind of different from your typical student wearing fatigue pants. I'm glad the U of M police took it seriously, but why did U of M not send out the alert to all students until the area was deemed safe? Because it was only one building according to the U spokesperson? Really?? Really?? How did they know that? Yes, this makes me a bit hysterical because I, and apparently security people at other schools, entirely disagree with the way U of M handled this. (Read the Mich Daily for this info.) Honestly how long does it take to harm people with gas that he might have been carrying? The police officers had to tell kids one by one to get out of the building? There couldn't have been a texted alert? I am appalled. This kid should face some consequences. Where is his common sense?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

The sky is falling! Bad judgment?Maybe.Criminal? Not on your life!


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

Since when is a Gas mask and a biker jacket something to call SWAT for?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

When was SWAT mentioned as responding?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

Since the liberals have a agenda to control guns, and the lawful people who own them.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

When did we all lose our sense of humour?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

Gargoyle, I'm not sure but I agree, we need to lighten up. Here kitty-kitty-kitty!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

Please explain the humor in what this guy did. Some of us don't get it!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

I agree with notyou about this and the excellent reference to the wiki article on list of events named massacres. The human race as a whole is violent. That will never end no matter how many laws you pass.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:20 a.m.

Alan is right - oh wait... what is this...


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

@Zig - They are much more deadly than they've ever been. The number of incidents may not be increasing but the number of victims is.

Homeland Conspiracy

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

January 13th 1982


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 10:53 p.m.

@Obviouscomment Mass shootings are no more or less common than ever.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 10:34 p.m.

Oh, let's see, maybe when 26 people were shot including 20 children at an elementary school, or over a dozen at a theater, and then what about the shooting at Virginia Tech a few years ago. Saying love is in air is one thing but dressing up in fatigues and a gas mask with everyone still thinking about these events is to me not funny.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 10:28 p.m.

When mass shootings started to become more common...

An Arborigine

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

Given the current climate of knee-jerk reactions to guns, lucky he didn't get shot.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:17 a.m.

Because as we all know Kafkaland those crazy consealed weapons people get absolutly no training what so ever and they are not even vetted by the count, state and FBI before getting their permit. Yech....


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:31 a.m.

And luckily, there was no one untrained in law enforcement with a concealed gun around to play the hero and "save" everyone.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

Luckily, UMDPS was not trained in the same school as LAPD.