“Prank” puts lives of first responders in danger

Olean Police are looking for the person responsible for a prank that put the lives of first responders in danger.

Early Sunday morning around 8 a.m., police officers and firefighters were called to the railroad trestle above Olean Creek near the Olean Recreation Center on reports of a person hanging from the trestle. First responders rushed to the scene, lowering themselves off the trestle to help the victim, only to discover the victim was actually a very life-like mannequin.

Temperatures were just below freezing at the time of this incident, and rain that had fallen earlier had turned into a sheet of ice on the ground covered by a thin layer of snow. First responders had sped to the scene, believing someone was in grave danger and might need their immediate assistance.

Authorities say first responders could have crashed on the way to the scene, fallen 30- to 40-feet off the trestle after slipping on the ice, or fallen while trying to rescue the “victim” and ended up in the creek.

Police say this prank is no laughing matter and that someone put time and effort into making the mannequin appear as life-like as possible, especially when seen at a distance in the early morning hours with snow falling.

If you have any information, call 376-5677.

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