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Texas department apologizes for ‘Chucky’ Amber Alert

  • COURTESY TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY VIA THE NEW YORK TIMES
                                An Amber Alert that was sent to Texans with a photo of Chucky.

    COURTESY TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY VIA THE NEW YORK TIMES

    An Amber Alert that was sent to Texans with a photo of Chucky.

An Amber Alert sent to Texans last week warned that a child had been abducted by Chucky, a 28-year-old male with red or auburn hair and blue eyes who stands 3 feet, 1 inch tall. His race was given as “Other: Doll.”

The alert, which was sent by email Friday, warned of a 16-pound suspect wearing “blue denim overalls” and “wielding a huge kitchen knife.” It included an image of Chucky, the killer doll introduced in the 1988 slasher film “Child’s Play,” the first of a series of Chucky films.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has since apologized, saying in a statement that the alert was sent as the “result of a test malfunction.”

“We apologize for the confusion this may have caused and are diligently working to ensure this does not happen again,” the department said.

People who had subscribed to the Texas alerts system received the emailed alert three times Friday, KENS 5, a television station in San Antonio, reported.

The department did not respond to questions about how many people had received the alert or the circumstances that led to its being sent.

The alert identified the abductee as Glen, a 5-year-old boy wearing a blue shirt with a black collar. (In “Seed of Chucky” (2004), a doll named Glen is Chucky’s child.)

The alert said that Chucky and Glen were last seen at a residential address in Henderson, Texas, a city about 130 miles southeast of Dallas. A woman who answered a call to a phone number associated with that address Wednesday said, “Yes, I’m aware” when asked about the alert before hanging up.

Don Mancini, the director and screenwriter who created the Chucky character, shared a news article about the alert on Twitter, saying, “PLEASE FIND THEM.”

The reach of the erroneous alert, which seems to have been sent only to email subscribers, appeared to be limited. Some Texans who get Amber Alerts through push notifications on their phones said that they had not received the Chucky warning.

There have been cases where alerts have been sent in error with greater consequences. In January 2018, an emergency alert was sent to cellphones across Hawaii warning of a “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII.” It urged people to “SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER,” adding, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

The push notification was sent early on a Saturday morning during a period of high tension between the United States and North Korea, by a worker who officials said had a history of poor performance. The worker thought there was an actual threat and misinterpreted testing instructions, officials said.

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