Olympic Police on Lookout for 'Serial Pest'

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Saturday September 16 10:27 PM ET

Olympic Police on Lookout for 'Serial Pest'


By Paul Holmes

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Police at the Sydney Olympics (news - web sites) are on the lookout for a ``serial pest'' they fear could disrupt the Games.

Security sources said photographs of Peter Michael Hore, an unemployed busker who has slipped into high-profile events across Australia in a variety of disguises, had been circulated to police.

The threat from pranksters or the mentally unstable, lured by the saturation media coverage of the Millennium Olympics, could prove the biggest to the Games which opened on Friday to what police say was a trouble-free flying start.

``We've done as much preparation as we can, but it's just hard to legislate against the lone nutter,'' one police source said.

Hore, 40, was last seen in Australia's Northern Territory state in June, when police were concerned that he would try to hijack the start of a 100-day Olympic torch relay from Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, to Sydney.

His capers have included interrupting the Australian Open tennis final in January, when Hore slipped in through the umpire's entrance and danced around on center court for 30 seconds during the fourth set.

Dressed in black with a yellow cap and a beard dyed red, he later said he wanted to draw attention to the Second Coming ofChrist and cruelty to animals.

I'Ll Be Good, Says Hore

Hore has also gatecrashed the funeral of INXS rock star Michael Hutchence, cut the goal net during Australia's 1977 World Cup qualifier against Iran and dashed on to the course during the 1997 Melbourne Cup, Australia's premier horse race.

He promised to behave himself for 12 months after appearing in court in Adelaide in April on a charge of disorderly behavior outside the Davis Cup tennis tournament venue.

Despite his pledge, police involved in Australia's biggest security operation are taking no chances for the Olympics.

``His face in law enforcement across Australia is as popularly circulated as (Australian singing star) John Farnham,'' Commander Paul McKinnon, head of Sydney's Olympic Security Command Centre, said earlier this year.

``Everybody in law enforcement will know him and have their eye out for his various cunning disguises,'' he said.

Concerns have receded that the Olympics could be marred by protests by Aboriginals and anti-globalization activists who caused chaos last week at a World Economic Forum in Melbourne.

What demonstrations there were ahead of Friday's opening ceremony were small-scale and peaceful.

Security officials say they also have no intelligence that there is a concrete threat to the Olympics from extremists.

A spokesman for New South Wales police said more than 200,000 people had packed the Olympic Park complex on the night of the opening ceremony at Stadium Australia without a hitch or an arrest.

``I know that's probably boring, but there have been no problems to report,'' the spokesman said.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 17, 2000


tooo funnyy and VERY timely. :)

-- call me reg (a@regular.person), September 17, 2000.

"Hore has also gatecrashed the funeral of INXS rock star Michael Hutchence"

That's creeper! Or one of his many split personalities.

-- (cpr@mentally.unstable), September 17, 2000.

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