‘Ninja’ pinned
Kathleen Ruark / The Red & Black
A photo taken with a student’s camera phone shows a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms official pinning down Jeremiah Ransom in front of Snelling dining hall Tuesday on the University of Georgia campus in Athens, Ga.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 4/13/2006 4:15:42 PM ET 2006-04-13T20:15:42

Running through the University of Georgia campus as a ninja can elicit a prompt response from authorities, a UGA sophomore learned.

Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, on campus for a community training project, detained Jeremiah Ransom of Macon on Tuesday as a "suspicious individual" when they spotted a masked figure darting near the Georgia Center.

Ransom told The Red & Black student newspaper that he had left a Wesley Foundation pirate vs. ninja event when he was snared by agents with guns drawn.

"It was surreal," Ransom said. "I was jogging from Wesley to Snelling (cafeteria) when I heard someone yell `freeze.'" At first, he thought a friend was playing a joke. That notion was dispelled when he found himself on the ground with an agent's knee pinning him down, the paper reported.

University Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said Ransom was released as soon as he was found to have violated no laws.

Vanessa McLemore, the ATF special agent in charge, said agents thought something was amiss when they "noticed someone wearing a bandanna across the face and acting in a somewhat suspicious manner, peeping around the corner" then breaking into a run.

Williamson said Ransom was wearing black sweat pants and an athletic T-shirt with one red bandanna covering the bottom half of his face and another covering the top of his head.

The event is designed as an offbeat way for students to meet others and invite them to the Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist group on campus, the student newspaper reported. “Ninjas" were to say, "Hi-YA doing?" and "pirates," "How arrrrrghhh you doing?" the paper reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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