Taxi Driver Shoots Man in Bin Laden Mask

Taxi Driver Shoots Man in Bin Laden Mask (AP)

Osama bin Laden take note: You wouldn’t be safe in Costa Rica. A startled taxi driver shot and wounded a jokester wearing a plastic mask of the al-Qaida leader, police said Tuesday. Leonel Arias, 47, told police he was playing a practical joke by donning the Bin Laden mask, toting his pellet rifle and jumping out to scare drivers on a narrow street in his hometown, Carrizal de Alajuela, about 20 miles north of San Jose.

Arias had startled several drivers that way on Monday afternoon. But when he jumped out in front of taxi driver Juan Pablo Sandoval, the motorist reached for a gun and shot him twice in the stomach. He was hospitalized in stable condition. “For me and I think for anybody else at a time like that one thinks the worst and so I fired my gun,” Sandoval told Channel 7 television.

Police declined to detain Sandoval, saying he had believed he was acting in self-defense.

Must have been some mask.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    Almost a Darwin Award nominee.

  2. Tig says:

    What a hilarious incident! I can’t stop laughing!

  3. Igor Volsky says:

    Off topic post deleted.

  4. David R. Block says:

    The mask was THAT good? I wonder who made it. I also wonder who is nuts enough to wear one of those in the first place.

    This is CHRISTMAS, not Halloween.