A Douglas College student newspaper has apologized to police in New Westminster for publishing a fake story alleging police mistakenly distributed lollipops laced with LSD to children on Hallowe'en.
The newspaper, called the The Other Press published the story as a joke last week, but New Westminster Police Chief David Jones says he did not find it funny at all.
The fake story described how on Halloween night, police mixed up candy for kids with a drug seizure and handed out hundreds of lollipops laced with LSD.
"Every year during Halloween, New Westminster police hand out candy from the Columbia Street precinct. This year was no different, except that instead of getting simple grape-flavoured lollipops, a few hundred children received grape-flavoured LSD lollipops," the newspaper said in the fake story.
"New Westminster police are keeping mostly quiet on the issue, but are saying that the problem likely arose when a drug enforcement officer seized a package and left it on his desk instead of in the lock-up. The police force is apologizing for its drug distribution, but also believe that the issue has been blown out of proportion," the made-up article said.
The made-up story included a quote from a school principal saying she called 911 when "one child thought a unicorn really was about to stab him."
Not funny, says police chief
But Chief Jones says other than a "Humour" label near the top of the webpage, the paper gave no indication the entire piece was fake.
Jones says several readers and members of the police force raised concerns about the story, prompting him to issue a public statement saying the story was untrue and that he believed the paper, "crossed a line" and asking for a retraction and apology.
The editor in chief Jacey Gibb initially defended the piece, saying it was clearly fake, and pointed out it included a photoshopped image of a kid with a My Little Pony.
But after receiving the chief's complaint, Gibb said the paper would immediately pull the story down.
"While it's unfortunate the article was misinterpreted as factual, we also have a responsibility to make the distinction crystal clear and apologize to the NWPD for the confusion and any offence they have taken to their reputation," said a statement issued by Gibb.