via The Local:
An axe-wielding man seen roaming the streets of Östersund on Saturday was reported to the police by worried residents, before it was discovered he was simply taking part in a children’s treasure hunt.
The barefoot 49-year-old, who was leading eight pre-school children on a treasure hunt on Saturday afternoon, aroused the suspicions and fears of several bystanders who panicked and called police.
“It took a while before I understood that it was me they were after, so I kept walking until they came really close and shouted that I had to drop the weapon. Then I was both scared and stunned,” the would-be pirate told local Östersundsposten newspaper.
The preschoolers were not in sight of the police at the time officers approached the man, adding no credibility to his claims that he was taking part in an innocent children’s game.
The 49-year-old later explained that he felt threatened by police in the situation, adding that one of the younger officers was acting “aggressively”.
Peter Borg of the Östersund police explained that they are not willing to take risks in situations such as this.
“I don’t think it’s strange at all that we acted the way we did. We have to take things seriously when you think about all that’s happening in the world,” explained Peter Borg of the local police, adding that he too would have drawn his own weapon had he been with the five police who intervened.
“It happens so fast. It’s all about being prepared; otherwise you might not get another chance.”
The axe man was allowed to walk free when the situation was resolved, but was told to put his prop safely away before the treasure hunt could continue.
The man was also informed that it was incredibly inappropriate and illegal to walk in a residential area armed with an axe, wrote the police on their website after the incident.