When police received five calls from concerned members of the public about a man carrying a gun in a town park, they wasted no time in responding.
A riot van was despatched to the scene on Tuesday to block the suspect’s exit from the park until an armed response unit could arrive.
But when Mark Sleigh, 39, returned to the vehicle and officers ordered him to ‘drop the weapon’, the bemused law-enforcers discovered the 4ft-long object was the amateur musician’s home-made plastic didgeridoo.
Bicycle restorer Mr Sleigh insisted yesterday that the only thing offensive about the plastic decorated instrument was perhaps the ‘droning’ noise that it makes.
He told how the two police constables saw the funny side of the drama – and even posed for a selfie.
Mr Sleigh, a father of one, had taken the didgeridoo to the park in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, to play in the tunnels.
But after he returned to his vehicle with his dog, the officers pounced and took his keys before ordering him to drop the ‘weapon’.
Mr Sleigh, who lives with his wife in Sutton Coldfield, said: ‘Police in a riot van were waiting, they had blocked off the exit, so I couldn’t drive out.
‘The officers told me there had been reports of a man with a rifle. I told them it can’t be me, all I’ve got is my didgeridoo.