Teenager dressed as stormtrooper with plastic blaster held at gunpoint by police
A young woman wearing a Star Wars costume with a plastic blaster was held up at gun point by police officers.
The 19-year-old had been trying to drum up business for the struggling restaurant she worked out by donning a fun costume.
She dressed up in full Stormtrooper gear and paraded up and down outside the Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina in Lethbridge, Alberta.
As well as attempting to steer customers towards the Star Wars themed outlet, the woman’s costume was chosen in honour of it being ‘May the 4th Be With You Day’.
Footage of the incident shows the employee standing on the pavement with her hands in the air.
Taken from the vantage point of a moving vehicle, the video shows multiple police officers standing by numerous police cars.
Several of them are pointing weapons which appear to be shot guns at the Stormtrooper while one shouts ‘get down on the ground’.
They urge the woman to get onto first her knees and then to her stomach.
The officers then cuff her hands behind her back while a dog barks.
The woman can be heard crying as the officers detain her.
In a statement, Lethbridge Police Services said the woman did not initially comply with the officers’ instructions to get on the ground.
“The weapon was ultimately confirmed to be a fake firearm,” the statement said.
The woman was not arrested, the statement added, but suffered a minor injury that didn’t require medical attention.
Police Chief Scott Woods ordered an investigation after reviewing the video and other details, the statement said.
Bradley Whalen, the owner of Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina, said his employee was not causing any harm.
“My concern isn’t that police responded to someone who called and reported,” he told Global News.
“My problem is that after they determined that it was a fake prop, police still continued to yell at her with the guns pointed, telling her to, ‘get down on her face, get down on her face’ and then proceeded to handcuff her after they knew that it was a plastic prop toy.”