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‘It’s just something that got out of hand’

Police stumbled upon prank by men wanting to highlight the dangers of impaired driving TV report

By Elizabeth Roberts

Campaign group CADA reacted with bemusement to claims that a man found dumped on the street tied up in a sheet was the victim of a prank to highlight alcohol awareness month.

The claims were made last night in a report on ZBM television news in the aftermath of the bizarre incident on Saturday.

CADA Chairman Anthony Santucci reacted to the report by saying: “We appreciate individuals using creative marketing methods to promote CADA but we would advocate that people use common sense and keep safety in mind.”

He said the whole story “sounds just a little dicey to me”.

According to police, the 50-year-old man was found dumped on the street, wrapped in a sheet, with his feet and hands tied up, late at night in Pembroke.

Police had seen three men carrying a “long object,” but they fled when officers approached.

When the object was unwrapped, it turned out to be the man.

He was uninjured and said he could not remember how he ended up being dumped on the sidewalk along East Park Lane at 1.40am.

Police said an investigation had been launched and they were collecting fingerprints and DNA in a bid to find out what happened.

“It is also unclear what the motive of the three men may have been, and the police are therefore in need of help from the public to get to the bottom of this unusual incident,” said a spokesman on Monday.

The news prompted concern from members of the public over what fate the man could have suffered if he had not been rescued.

On last night’s TV news, however, an interview with the alleged victim and culprits, who asked to remain anonymous, revealed claims that the whole thing was a prank.

Admitting responsibility, one of the interviewees said: “We was all round drinking like as usual and everything went wrong. It was a whole misunderstanding.

“I wasn’t really doing it to make anybody mad. It was my drinking partner and it was just a whole misunderstanding. Everything went wrong.

“I was just going to sit him up at the bottom of the hill and leave him there for Alcohol Awareness Month because he was talking about it all month.”

The man identified in the report as the victim of the prank said: “I just remember coming down the hill. We are friends.

“It’s just something that got out of hand. It might have looked bad in the public’s eyes but it was one of those incidents that happened.”

He added: “I don’t think it would have went too far. I’m fine.”

Mr Santucci said: “I have come up with some pretty outrageous ideas, but this is not one of them. CADA is clearly not familiar with the story.”

The campaign uses an “ABCD” slogan to encourage drinkers to “Always use Bus, Cab or Designated Driver” when drinking.

In this case, said Mr Santucci, the men in question “should have let him sleep on the sofa. It’s ‘bus, cab or designated driver’, not ‘wrap him in a sheet and dump him on the street’.”

ZBM reported that the men have been told the police want to question over the alleged prank.

Invited to comment last night, a police spokesman said: “No further comment will be made at this time as inquiries into the matter are ongoing.”

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Published April 25, 2012 at 9:00 am (Updated April 25, 2012 at 9:53 am)

‘It’s just something that got out of hand’

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