Published May 05, 2020We just celebrated Star Wars Day on the May the 4th, but the celebrations didn't go exactly as planned for one blaster-totting stormtrooper in Southern Alberta. In fact, her Star Wars cosplay led police to draw their very real guns on her before reportedly tackling her to the ground, putting her in handcuffs and leaving her with a bloody nose.
The stormtrooper named Ashley was working at the Star Wars-themed restaurant Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina in Lethbridge yesterday (May 4), CTV News reports, and was instructed to dress up for Star Wars Day by her manager. But as she danced with her blaster in hand in the restaurant's parking lot, the scene drew the attention of police, with multiple officers showing up at the restaurant with guns drawn.
"Apparently a couple of people had called 911 and said that there was somebody with a gun on 13 Street North," restaurant owner Brad Whalen told CTV. "A number of police officers had shown up to our business with guns drawn on our employee."
As Whalen explained, the employee was tackled by police and handcuffed, leaving her with a bloody nose.
Via Lethbridge News Now, you can watch a video of the frightening incident below.
"The officers approached the person and provided verbal directions to that person to drop the weapon, to put themselves on to the ground," said Insp. Jason Walper of Lethbridge police. "The person did not comply with police verbal directions. Eventually they did after multiple repeated orders given by the police officers."
As Whalen explained, he believes Ashley could not see the police through the stormtrooper helmet or hear them properly, adding that police should have realized the actual reality of what was happening within the restaurant. Whalen also said he believes she could not immediately kneel to the ground due to the rigid stormtrooper suit.
"Sometimes you really have to use common sense," said Whalen. "When all the things fit in the box — you've got the signs, you've got the music, the atmosphere. A duck is a duck when it's walking like a duck."
Police officer Walper added, "Although I do understand the linkage to Star Wars, it's certainly not a day where our officers are expecting to have to respond to a firearms complaint."
Ashley the stormtrooper is currently not facing any charges over the incident, but police say they are still investigating the incident.