A drunk student (21) was almost shot by police last week in Utrecht. He was walking around in possession of a fake weapon in order to play a prank on his housemates.

On Friday morning, the police received a report of an armed man on the street. Two alerted police officers instructed him to drop his weapon, but he failed to respond. Just as the police officers were about to pull the trigger, he raised his hands in the air, according to Utrecht university magazine DUB.

Horror scenario

The student, who was drunk during the incident, realises that the joke could have had disastrous consequences and has apologised profusely. In view of his apology, the public prosecutor has imposed an alternative punishment on him: he has to write a paper about his action and present it to the police officers in person.

By way of warning, the Public Prosecution Service issued a press release yesterday with a fictional article about a student who had been shot dead, to emphasise how the incident could have ended. “Luckily for everyone, this horror scenario did not play out,” writes the Public Prosecution Service.

Student pranks

This is not the first, and probably not the last student prank requiring police attendance. Last month, officers suspected an attack after panic broke out at the ‘kidnapping’ of a committee member of a student association in Wageningen. In July last year, the police in Breda arrested two students from NHTV Hogeschool wearing balaclavas who were seen dragging someone out of the car.