Student says his homework not intended to cause chaos

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

The list of ingredients inside Michael Morrissey’s 30-inch burrito — steak, guacamole, lettuce, salsa, red peppers, and jalapenos — was impressive. But Morrissey never imagined a burrito would attract so much attention.

Morrissey, an eighth-grader at Marshall Junior High, said his teacher encouraged him to create a commercial advertising a product for extra credit in class. Morrissey chose to advertise a restaurant.

“We had to make up a product and it could have been anything. I made up a restaurant that specialized in oddly large burritos,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey wrapped his 2 1/2-foot burrito safely inside tinfoil and a white T-shirt. Somebody saw him carry it into school early Thursday morning and called police, fearing the package contained a gun.

A few minutes later, police swarmed the campus.

Morrissey said he was in the school’s office when officials ordered all doors closed and locked. Morrissey said it took him some time to realize his class project was responsible.

After students heard the description of the alleged weapon, Morrissey and friends began to make the connection.

“A friend of mine was like ‘Hey man that sounded like your burrito.’ I looked over at it and sure enough it was wrapped in tinfoil and white. I was like ‘Oh man, this is the supposed weapon.’ I went down to the office and showed the police,” Morrissey said.

The report was welcomed.

“The police saw it and everyone just started laughing. It was a laughter of relief,” Morrissey said.

“Now that I think about it, walking in with that huge burrito probably did look weird. I am sad that I caused all that. … I learned that little things can cause a lot of havoc. Oh — and I have a new nickname now. It’s Burrito Boy.”