Pistol-packin’ mamas: Fatima Rupp and Holly Spedding
As gunfights go, it was something of an unequal contest.
On one side were dozens of armed police officers assisted by dogs, with helicopters hovering over head.
On the other were two teenage girls in cowboy outfits, with one toy gun between them.
Not surprisingly, 19-year-olds Fatima Rupp and Holly Spedding surrendered without a fight in the stand-off outside a Tesco supermarket.
But they faced several hours in police cells before Miss Rupp was cautioned for possession of an imitation firearm and the pair were released.
“We were petrified when we stopped and they came screeching up and surrounded us,” said Miss Stepping, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
“There were four jeeps, two vans full of dogs, armed police, helicopters and they were screaming, “Where’s the gun?” Our gun was obviously a toy, but the guns the police pointed at us certainly weren’t imitations. They were scary. I’ve never seen a real gun before, it was terrifying.”
Miss Rupp added: “I completely froze and was too scared to move an inch in case they shot me. I had a gun pointing in my face.”
The incident happened as the pair drove along the M62 after a Cowboys and Indians party at Chester University. Miss Rupp said: “Lorry drivers were pretending to shoot me with their fingers. So I pointed the toy gun back at them. Everyone was smiling and laughing. Some were even pretending to die and shouting ‘Bang, bang!’.”
An off-duty police officer failed to see the joke, reporting the girls for threatening motorists. Miss Rupp, who was in the passenger seat, said she realised something was wrong when she noticed six police cars on their tail.
The girls pulled off the motorway and into a supermarket car park in Brighouse
“We chose Tesco’s car park to stop because there were lots of people around and we thought if they were armed they might be a bit more careful with all the public there,” added Miss Rupp, a mother of two.
A police spokesman said: “When we receive reports of guns being pointed at people, we have a duty to take firm action and that means responding with armed officers.
“Imitation weapons are difficult to distinguish from the real thing, especially at distance.”
GI Joe’s gun “had to be taken from him”
A doll caused a security alert at an American airport because its two-inch plastic gun was considered a dangerous weapon.
Judy Powell, 55, from Walton on the Hill, Surrey, bought the GI Joe toy in Las Vegas and packed it in her hand luggage.
But security staff at Los Angeles International Airport refused to let Mrs Powell on board the plane with the replica rifle.