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April 21, 2009

Pillow Fight Update

Pillow fight organizer Darin Cassler is officially off the hook.

The Burlington Police Department does not plan to press disorderly conduct charges against Cassler, the 21-year-old who Facebook-organized last Friday's Church Street pillow fight. That's according to a department press release sent a few minutes ago. Department chief Michael Schirling confirms in a phone interview that BPD will not request a search warrant for Cassler's cell phone, which an officer confiscated after Friday's fluff fest.

According to the Burlington Free Press, Cassler was arrested on Friday after the pillow fight attracted a crowd of about 50 people. (To see the fight, check out Eva Sollberger's 7DTV dispatch.) The Free Press reports that such charges could fetch up to 60 days in jail and fines of $500.

When I spoke with Cassler this afternoon (after his phone was returned), he told me not having a cell phone all weekend was a pain. Fortunately, the social-networking site Facebook is his "communicative snorkel to the universe," so he was able to keep friends apprised of his legal hassles. What happened to his pillow? Cassler said a friend picked up his "A" pillow at Friday's protest and is holding it for safekeeping. He reports that a temporary substitute -— a white number with a green border, stuffed with "Egyptian" cotton — is working out well enough.

Cassler said he has received several calls from area residents who are disappointed by the BPD's handling of Friday's pillow fight. Some of them, he notes, have discussed showing up to a City Council meeting at Contois Auditorium and "filling up the room with pillows." It remains to be seen whether the action would prompt the municipal officials to nod off.

Thanks for the update Mike and glad to hear we are not prosecuting a pillow fighter in my city.

Here are some links to the brief media storm surrounding this pillow fight including a WPTZ post featured on the CNN homepage (and including our video), a news segment on WPTZ and coverage in the Burlington Free Press.

Wow. Makes you wonder how far this story could have gone if the police decided to prosecute.

Thanks, Mike and Eva.

Lt. Michael Schirling is a bloody wanker. This police officer is a total tool, and a liar, who thinks he's slick enough to be the media spin-meister at BPD. Lt.Schirling tried to tell me once that I didn't see one of his Cpl.'s beat up a 17yo girl. He should go back to the computer crimes unit with kris karlson and the rest of the pervs at BPD.

It makes me so sad that this qualifies as news in 2009.

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