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Alberta police tackle restaurant employee wearing stormtrooper costume

Alberta police tackle restaurant employee wearing stormtrooper costume

One Alberta restaurant employee attracted the wrong kind of force after dressing up in a Star Wars stormtrooper costume this week.

The person, also carrying a toy blaster, was standing outside of the Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina in Lethbridge, to attract the attention of potential customers as the restaurant reopened its doors on May 4.

Police received reports that there was a person in a stormtrooper costume with a gun, and responded by tackling the woman to the ground and leaving her with a bloody nose.

Brad Whalen, an unimpressed owner of the restaurant, told the Regina Leader Post that all of the signs around the restaurant were Star Wars themed and he also had music from the movies playing in his business’s parking lot.

“If a duck’s a duck, it’s a duck, right. It should have been common sense and it should have stopped there,” he said of the encounter.

Whalen explained that one of his employees had agreed to wear the costume in commemoration of May 4. His restaurant sells Jabba the Gut pizza and Yoda soda, so he said dressing up an employee in a stormtrooper costume seemed like a good idea to entice customers.

A video posted on social media shows the interaction between the employee and the police. Officers force the woman to the ground and onto her stomach. She hits her face and her nose starts to bleed. In the video, Whalen yells from afar, telling the police that the gun is not real.

Lethbridge Police Chief Scott Woods is investigating the incident, according to the Leader Post, and will be determining whether or not the conduct was appropriate.

The woman in the costume was not arrested, but Whalen said he’s been contacting by lawyers and is looking at different options for responding to the situation. He believes something needs to change to prevent police from unnecessarily escalating a situation.