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Teen in Stormtrooper Costume Attacked by Police For Carrying Plastic Gun at Star Wars Restaurant

An investigation has been launched after a woman dressed as a stormtrooper to promote a restaurant on Star Wars day (4 May) was thrown to the ground by police for carrying a ‘firearm’ which turned out to be a toy gun.

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Police in Canada have launched an internal investigation after police officers threw a woman wearing a Star Wars stormtrooper costume to the ground and bloodying her before handcuffing her on suspicion that she was carrying a gun on May 4th. However, the “firearm” was actually a toy modeled on the blaster guns carried by the iconic Imperial villains.

May the fourth is known among fans of George Lucas’ as Star Wars Day. The catchphrase of the occasion, “May the Fourth be with you,” is a pun on the saga’s beloved catchphrase, “May the Force be with you.”

Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina, a pizza and donair kebab restaurant themed on the series located in Lethbridge, Alberta, hoped to use the unofficial holiday to promote itself.

Restaurant owner Bradley Whalen explained to Lethbridge News Now:

“We had music playing in the parking lot, we had one of our staff dress up as a stormtrooper kind of waving to people walking up and down the road, we had people stopping by and getting pictures with the stormtrooper, we put a couple of promotions on in the restaurant to entice people to come.”

However, the promotion – which included an unnamed 19-year-old female restaurant worker donning the stormtrooper costume – went horribly awry after the worker was brutally forced to the ground, leaving her shaken and with a bloody nose.

The teenaged employee was walking around a parking lot surrounding the cantina after arriving to start her shift at 10 a.m. By 11:20 a.m., three squad cars arrived at the scene before initiating force against the young woman.

During the encounter, restaurant owner Bradley Whalen desperately pled with officers that the woman was carrying a harmless toy gun, asking them “are you serious?” Meanwhile, a man filming the altercation tried to explain to officers that the prop “blaster” was the sort of item one could find at a “dollar store.”

Whalen believes that the police failed to control the situation, putting his employee in serious danger. He said:

“Police officers had guns drawn, pointed at my employee. They were yelling at her to put the gun down so she threw the plastic gun on the ground.

“At that point in time when I came out, she was on her knees kneeling down on the ground. The police had already checked and seen that the gun was plastic so they already knew that there wasn’t an issue or a risk there.”

Lethbridge Police Services attempted to defend the incident, claiming in a statement that the woman did not initially comply with officers’ instructions to get on the ground.

“The weapon was ultimately confirmed to be a fake firearm,” the statement added.

In response to a number of media inquiries regarding the process involved in a service investigation directed into the…

Posted by Lethbridge Police Service on Friday, May 8, 2020

However, Whalen offered a much different account of the altercation. He said:

“[The employee] kept yelling at them that she couldn’t kneel down because, in that stormtrooper costume, you can’t even sit down in it, like it’s impossible to sit down. She kept telling them that she couldn’t get down is what she explained to me after we talked to her.”

“It wasn’t a matter of her not wanting to cooperate … She dropped the gun when they told her to and just forcing her, making her get down on the ground after they determined that she wasn’t a risk and that the gun wasn’t even a real gun, it was a plastic Star Wars blaster.”

After the video of the event went viral and caused a public outcry, Alberta police watchdog group the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) agreed to investigate the incident to determine what went wrong.

However, Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina is using the unfortunate buzz surrounding the police brutality case to promote its restaurant. In a Facebook post, the restaurant shared images of a new sign informing customers that the blasters are indeed only plastic.

So! These arrived today!!!

Posted by Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina on Friday, May 8, 2020

In an update, the restaurant explained:

“Our staff member is doing OK. She was a little bumped and bruised. There is still a long way to go for her emotional recovery but we appreciate all the kind words of support during this crazy time. The force is strong with this one!

“She will continue to be our amazing employee and we hope to allow her to stay home as long as possible and continue to pay her. Anyone wishing to offer any type of support can do so by visiting our website at www.cocovanilla.ca also we have had tons of messages offering to send her things.

“Anyone is welcome to mail items or have flowers delivered directly to the restaurant at 531 13St North Lethbridge Alberta T1H2S6 Again thank you everyone for your find words and support for her in this crazy time.”

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FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House

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Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.

But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?

Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.

The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.

The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.

According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building setfocuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.

Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimesinclude assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”

An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”

Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”

However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.

The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.

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Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm

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If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.

What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.

Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.

But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.

The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.

“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.

“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”

Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.

“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.

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Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change

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Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”

Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.

However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.

The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.

“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.

“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.

“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”

“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.

Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.” 

“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.

Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.

On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.

“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.

According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.

However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.

“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.

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