Two men who planted electronic light boards around the city of Boston to promote the Aqua Teen Hunger Force cartoon, resulting in city officials overreacting and shutting down the city, have resolved the criminal charges against them.
Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, issued a public apology and performed a total of 140 hours of community service between them in exchange for having charges of placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct set aside.
The apology, however, was very carefully worded:
“I deeply regret that this incident caused such anguish and disruption to so many people,” Berdovsky said in court Monday.
“I had no intention of upsetting or alarming anyone.”
Not that prosecutors had much of a case.
In exchange for the community service and public apology, prosecutors agreed not to pursue the criminal case. Berdovsky performed 80 hours of service and Stevens completed 60 hours at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Boston.
Attorney General Martha Coakley said it would have been difficult to prove to a jury that the men intended to create panic, and that she did not believe they realized the problems the ads would cause.
“We believe this was an appropriate and fair resolution,” Coakley said. — Associated Press
The city of Boston also got $2 million out of Turner Broadcasting after having needlessly spent $750,000 on police response removing the light boards from locations around the city January 31, even after learning they were not a threat. And they managed to overreact to a state-owned traffic control device as well last February.
(Hat tip: Table of Malcontents)