By Stacy Kess
An Internet rumor that began circulating in early August has targeted the Delaware area as the next city for “a purge” today, but police anticipate no problems.
The rumor of a real-life version of the fictional film “The Purge 2” began online with warnings of a 12-hour period in which all crime is legal, similar to the movie’s premise, on Aug. 15 in Louisville.
The rumor spread around the Internet on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, and other cities were named, including Delaware and other Ohio cities. According to rumors, Delaware’s “purge” will happen today.
“The critical component of ‘The Purge’ is that government shuts down,” said Delaware Police Chief Bruce Pijanowski. “I personally guarantee we are not going away. The communities that have already had ‘The Purge’ have not reported any spikes in (crime) activity. We will watch for spikes in activity, but do not anticipate any problems.”
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office confirmed today’s “purge” is a rumor Monday via Facebook.
“(DCSO) takes all threats seriously, including those posted via social media, such as the purge. At this time there is no credible evidence to indicate that this is a legitimate threat,” the office said in a posted statement.
Police in Louisville, the first city listed for the rumored “purge,” have identified a teenager that started the threat on social media as part of a prank.
The teen has since told media outlets and police that he did not intend to create the rumor, but was making a joke on social media.
Louisville Metro Police initially said, although they believed “The Purge” was a hoax, they said they would be prepared for any increase in crime or actual response to the rumor. No increases in crime were reported.
Other cities named in the rumors have included Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans and Jacksonville, Fla. No cities targeted by the rumor have reported an increase in crime during the supposed “purge.”
Reporter Dustin Ensinger contributed to this story. He can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG. Reporter Stacy Kess can be reached at 614-373-4166 or on Twitter @StacyMKess.