Per CNN, the Missouri State Highway Patrol sent out an emergency alert to mobile devices last Tuesday to warn the locals of an imminent threat. Reminiscent of the cars used by the Joker’s henchmen in Tim Burton’s Batman, the text told the residents of Gotham City to watch out for a purple/green 1978 Dodge 3700 GT with the license plate “UKIDME.”
In actuality, there is no real Gotham City in the state of Missouri, nor is there a Clown Prince of Crime currently on the loose in a purple and green car. The message was apparently sent out by error during a test with at least one person involved being a clearly big Batman fan. The Missouri State Highway Patrol later clarified the incident with a post on Twitter explaining the mistake.
This was meant to be a test message, THERE WAS NO ALERT. pic.twitter.com/VZMfEHI28c
— MSHP General HQ (@MSHPTrooperGHQ) January 18, 2022
“The Patrol regularly tests the Blue Alert system to ensure it works properly when needed. During the test, an option was incorrectly selected, allowing the message to be disseminated to the public,” the law enforcement agency also said in a press release. This Blue Alert system is designed to quickly spread information about “violent offenders who have killed, seriously injured, or pose an imminent and credible threat to law enforcement.”
These kinds of mistakes are not all that uncommon. Last year, something similar happened when the Texas Department of Public Safety issued an Amber Alert describing characters from the horror film Seed of Chucky. The “suspect” was named as Chucky and the alert even included a photo of the famous killer doll. An apology was issued soon after.