'We understand we did a stupid thing, but just didn't know it would turn into this'
The masked pair that spooked a young film crew in an Auckland park say they had no idea their lunchtime prank had sparked an armed police call out.
Aucklanders Kurt and Rachel, who are too scared of retribution to use their last names, only found out the prank - where they appear near train tracks wearing masks and wielding a plastic gun - had gone viral when they saw news reports on Thursday.
Kurt, 27, said he and his 26-year-old flatmate Rachel were having lunch in their Parnell backyard on Tuesday when they saw people near the train tracks.
"We were just having lunch and we saw the boys on the train tracks and thought, 'they are not supposed to be on the tracks, so let's scare them'.
"We had some old masks lying around from Halloween and a plastic gun that shoots those little rubber darts and were just having a laugh.
"They were laughing, too."
Unbeknown to Kurt and Rachel, the young men - who happened to be film students working in the area - recorded the incident on film and reported it to police who responded by sending the armed offenders squad into the area.
It wasn't until the footage went viral on Thursday that the pair realised their joke might not be so funny.
"It's a bit crazy, as soon as we saw it we thought, we better call the cops because this is ridiculous.
"We are not psychokillers ... people thought we were murderers or drug dealers, but the masks are from the $2 shop.
"So we understand we did a stupid thing, but just didn't know it would turn into this."
They were embarrassed and wanted people to know they had no malicious intent, and never meant to cause a problem for authorities.
He said the pair had received threats and deactivated their social media accounts, including one named Twins of Atticus, which was a private joke invented by the pair who live in attic bedrooms and share a love of movies.
"We are film buffs, we are massive film buffs and understand we are a bit quirky. We go on [the Facebook page] once in a blue moon and post a photo or something, it's just because we live in an attic - she lives in one room and I live in the other.
"It was just meant to be a funny thing, they have made it look so much more sinister.
"I think it was more our posture that was scary, because we were just in T-shirts and shorts and I've got chicken legs - I had my jandals on!"
Kurt said they were lucky police took no action against them, but they still had to face the wrath of their families.
"The thing I am scared most of is my mum, and she's disappointed in me and that's what hurts the most."