Star Wars Day gone wrong in Canada


    Alberta stormtrooper bloodied during blaster-related police response on May the Fourth

    An employee at a Star Wars-themed restaurant had a memorable May the Fourth, after her costumed celebration and replica weapon drew the attention of police and ended with her nose bloodied. Now, the chief of police is calling for an investigation into the actions of the responding officers after video of the arrest surfaced.

    While dressed as a stormtrooper, Ashley, 19, went into the parking lot of the Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina in Lethbridge at the direction of her manager. She danced with blaster in hand on May the Fourth — the day fans celebrate the film franchise as a play on the iconic "May the force be with you" line.

    Lethbridge Police Service arrived with guns drawn and the stormtrooper dropped the plastic toy to the ground.

    "Apparently a couple of people had called 911 and said that there was somebody with a gun on 13 Street N.," said Brad Whalen, the restaurant's owner. "A number of police officers had shown up to our business with guns drawn on our employee."

    Whalen says Ashley suffered a bloody nose after she was tackled to the ground by officers and handcuffed.

    "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 the LPS. "The person did not comply with police verbal directions. Eventually they did after multiple repeated orders given by the police officers."

    Whalen suspects the stormtrooper helmet restricted Ashley's ability to hear the officers and he believes police should have been able to piece together the situation.

    "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."

    Walper says the LPS take all weapons complaints seriously.

Log in to reply