Man Threatens to Blow Up Government Building Sign Over Misspelled Word

A man in Salem, Oregon took his obsession with correct spelling slightly too far on Wednesday morning when he threatened to blow up a government building's sign because a word was misspelled on it.

According to the Statesman Journal, Leonard Burdek, 50, allegedly walked into Salem's Teacher Standards and Practices Commission office on Wednesday carrying a pressure cooker. He informed employees there that he'd just tried to blow up their sign because the “d” was missing from the “and,” making the sign read: “Teacher Standards an Practices Commission.”

“He walked quite confidently into our office as though he had a mission, and I think that was what alarmed me right off the bat,” Executive Director Vickie Chamberlain said.

Burdek reportedly told the employees that his bomb didn't detonate, blaming the failure in part on the bomb's downloaded directions, which, according to Burdek, also contained misspellings.

Burdek left after Chamberlain asked him to, taking the pressure cooker with him, and employees called police.

“He was probably in here a minute and a half or so,” Chamberlain said. “If he had left the bomb, we certainly would have evacuated.”

Police found Burdek nearby in his van and arrested him, though they discovered the "bomb" was just a pressure cooker, with no explosives in it or alterations made to it.

“It looks like he was just trying to get attention,” [Salem Police Lt. Dave] Okada said.

Burdek was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. No word if there are any plans to fix the sign.

[Photo via TIMOTHY J. GONZALEZ/Statesman Journal]

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