While revelers at a snowball fight in Times Square Saturday night merrily battled on uninterrupted, their counterparts in D.C. saw the joy melt quickly away when an off-duty police officer pulled a gun on the crowd after his Hummer was hit with snowballs.
A video of the event posted online shows Detective Michael Baylor, a veteran of nearly thirty years on the force, holding a gun and talking on a walkie-talkie, as a crowd of downtown D.C.-types stood around him chanting, "You don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!" according to the Washington Post.
Fellow officers at the scene first tried to cover up the happenstance, saying Baylor was simply holding a cell phone. But after further video review, the DC police admitted that the object in question was, without a doubt, a gun.
"Let me be very clear in stating that I believe the actions of the officer were totally inappropriate!" Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier wrote in a statement issued Monday. "In no way, should he have handled the situation in this manner. We have taken swift action by placing him on non-contact status until all the facts are gathered and discipline is handed down."
At the Times Square snowball fight, at least on NYPD officer did step in to try and intervene, but a "chorus of boos" led him to back off and let the snowball fight go on as it were, according to the NY Times. For New Yorkers, it was a fair and appropriate response. Nobody brings a gun to a snowball fight.