• Owner of cultural business Yarn Bark, Will Austin, was stopped by police near Flagstaff Station. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
Will Austin told NITV that he is not the busker police were looking for, despite speculation his didgeridoo had shut down Melbourne.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
28 Mar 2019 - 6:09 PM  UPDATED 28 Mar 2019 - 6:31 PM

When business owner Will Austin got up on Thursday morning, he was looking forward to holding a cultural immersion workshop with some clients - he was not expecting his day to unfold as it has.

Mr Austin was on his way to Melbourne's Parliament Station from Dalesford with his yidaki in its instrument bag, along with a bag of cultural items.

His train was one of many stopped at Flagstaff station where a police operation was already taking place following a false report of a gun sighting.

"At first the train driver was saying it was a signal issue and then he said there was actually a police operation going on and that's when everyone started to freak out a little bit," Mr Austin told NITV.

"I had to get to Treasury Gardens and I'm a pretty calm person so while everyone's running around, I'm calm and I'm carrying a didgeridoo in a black case.

"I was walking out of Flagstaff and I got across the road and there's obviously a massive police presence. I got stopped by a few police officers and asked if they could search my bag and look in the yidaki case. They were really nice about it, so I let them search."

Upon realising he wasn't a gunman, the police let him continue on his way. However Mr Austin decided to make a post on his Facebook page in jest, before turning his phone off and starting his workshop.

"When you get swarmed by police at flagstaff station after reports of a gunman, looking suspicious on a mission and carrying a Yidaki and a bag full of artifacts. I’m not carrying no rifle or ammunition fellas," he wrote alongside a photo of him holding his Yidaki in its bag.

"But seriously though, stay safe all you mob out there travelling through the city this morning! I think there was still someone was a gun! Hopefully police have got em!"

While he was away from his phone for about an hour, new details emerged about the alleged gunman.   Victoria Police told the media that a busker had aroused suspicion while doing his breathing exercises on the train.

"He was a local busker who was there to play an instrument in town. There was a bag that the person was carrying and he had his tools to busk with him," Victoria Police Inspector Jacob Bugeja said.

But because the busker fit the description of Mr Austin, his friends quickly put two and two together.  Upset commenters also began expressing their sympathy on the post and soon enough media reports began to circulate conflating the two stories and detailing how a Didgeridoo had brought the busy transit hub grinding to halt.

"When I came back to my phone I realised that everyone had shared my post, everyone had been commenting on it and all that. By that point it had come out that it was a fulla with an instrument - a well known busker in the city - that people had confused his trumpet case with a rifle case," Mr Austin said.

"So I'm not actually the one who caused the massive hold up. I got stopped by the police which is why I put the post up, but I'm not the one people were suspicious of when it was first stopped. Now it's kind of taking over."