'Vampire' sparks bomb scare

SEATTLE – A man claiming to be a "vampire" and a "space cowboy" was arrested in downtown Seattle after he approached the King County Courthouse with a suspicious pipe device duct-taped to his arm, officials said.  Detectives later determined that the device was fashioned to look like a pipe bomb but it was not an actual explosive.

Earlier he had left the Union Gospel Mission on Second Avenue after he got into a confrontation with staff there. Mike Johnson at the mission said the man was acting strangely, and was asked to leave after he said he wanted to eat people.

"According to the complainant, the suspect walked in wanting to be served breakfast," police said in a statement. "He informed the staff that he was a vampire and wanted to eat people. The staff declined to serve him and asked him to leave."

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'Vampire' who prompted downtown bomb scare charged

Seattle Times, March 17/2010.

A mentally ill man who caused a bomb scare in downtown Seattle last when he walked into a homeless shelter wearing what appeared to be a pipe bomb and claiming to be a vampire was charged Wednesday with threats to bomb or injure property.

Vladimir Lestat Augustine, 33, was arrested Friday morning after police said he walked into the front lobby of the Union Gospel Mission, announced that he was a vampire and demanded to be let into the day room so he could feast on the people inside, court charging papers said. Augustine, whose body was wrapped in black electrical tape, then told staff at the mission that he was "a space cowboy," and raised his arm to show a metal object taped to his body. Augustine announced that he was armed with a bomb.

But when told to leave by staff members, he complied, charging documents said.

Seattle police were called and found Augustine laying on the sidewalk in front of the Drexel Grocery near the corner of Third Avenue and James Street. Police said that Augustine was laying face down on the pavement screaming.

SWAT team officers instructed Augustine on how to remove the device from his arm, which he did. Police later inspected the device and found that it was not a bomb -- instead it was a solid brass pipe, brass couplings and other pieces of metal, charging papers said.

Augustine was arrested and booked into the King County Jail. He has recently been convicted of a drug charge, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Craig Peterson said in court documents.

Authorities say that Augustine has a history of mental illness. He had been in King County Mental Health Court the day before his arrest on a previous drug charge, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor's Office. During the hearing he told the district court judge that his medication was not working and the judge ordered him to appear in court the following week.

The man appeared stable to the judge at the time of the hearing, said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff at the prosecutor's office. Goodhew said that a mental health evaluation was ordered for the man, but had not been completed.

According to charging papers, Vladimir Lestat Augustine is the man's real name -- in case those familiar with Dracula inspiration "Vlad the Impaler" and Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat" are wondering.

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From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

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