Stormtrooper arrested

"I was just like, 'wow,'" said Jami Kelly, a concerned parent.

LYNN, Mass. (WHDH) - Students in Lynn were surprised by a man dressed as a Stormtrooper outside their school Wednesday, and the man is now facing charges. [...]

A man dressed up in an elaborate Star Wars Stormtrooper costume, complete with a black toy laser gun, appeared on the sidewalk moments before school was about to release.

"I honestly opened my screen window, stuck my head out the window, and I was just like, 'wow,'" Jami Kelly, a concerned parent.

With no clue who the man was or whether the gun was real, the principal delayed dismissal Wednesday until police arrived on the scene, unmasked the masked crusader, arrested him, and placed him in a police cruiser.

George Cross, 40, of Lynn, was arraigned on charges of disturbing a school in addition to violating a city ordinance of loitering within 1,000 feet of a school.

"I bought a costume, I was walking through the neighborhood showing friends, and then all that," said Cross as he left the courthouse.

"We just can't have things like that taking place in front of the school," said Lt. Rick Donnelly of the Lynn Police Department.

Police were not amused by Cross' costume caper, and neither were parents - especially, they said, in this day and age.

"What if it was just like a thing saying, 'oh it was for the kids,' but actually it was, like, something bad was going to happen, you never know," said Tanya Dietz.

"but actually it was, like, something bad was going to happen, you never know."

Truer words have never been spoken.

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17 Responses:

  1. solarbird says:

    Planet Mainstream needs serious help.

  2. b says:

    Not sure what to say. On one hand there is a ton of overreaction: if I had a dollar for every Instagram or Yik Yak "immediate threat to the school" that sends everyone home for a day I'd be rich (oddly enough in my area it's almost always girls, and they _always_ get caught). On the other hand, I have kids in elementary school and this happened a few miles away:

    So you can be angry about "never knowing" and over-reacting. The Adam Lanza's of the world will thank you, it makes their work easier. On the other hand, if you're the kind of person who doesn't realize this will get a reaction you are probably mentally unstable enough to do something stupid / crazy.

    But really, it's "I don't want to live on this world anymore" because the truth is, you have to react like this. Too many guns, too many crazy sons of bitches. And they will kill.

    • Barry Kelly says:

      I visited that link hoping for a random dude in a costume causing havoc, and was greatly disappointed.

      Chap in that link should have been sent to a hospital, not prison for life.

    • Pavel Lishin says:

      Do you, though? I understand calling the police, but do his actions warrant a criminal record? See what he's doing, tell him to knock it the fuck off, and move on.

      How many shooters hung around their target wearing ridiculous costumes before opening fire? The only even remotely close case I can think of is the Aurora movie theater asshole.

      • Mike says:

        Giving out criminal records to ruin people's lives is important to make people understand their place in society: SHUT UP; OBEY.

  3. b says:

    I wish we lived in a different world (when I was a kid I suspect they'd have told him to knock it off). Since I assume basically no one here has kids, here's a pro tip: it is in fact illegal to lurk around a school. There are a few reasons it is illegal: first, the unsavory guy who kidnaps kids (mostly sexual assaults, almost never gone forever kidnapping) is actually real. And second, there's no good reason to loiter at a school. It's actually a balancing act and the first amendment allows it, since the benefit outweighs the downside (storm trooper can go to the park or city hall, just not park himself and his fake gun outside a school).
    Anyway, I do hope the punishment will be light (he is not going to prison for life!). But he appears quite guilty of doing two things most sane people know are illegal: being that shady guy lurking at a school and waving a fake gun with the intent to get a rise out of people.

    • LafinJack says:

      ...the unsavory guy who kidnaps kids (mostly sexual assaults, almost never gone forever kidnapping) is actually real.

      Most kidnappings are by one of the parents or by a known family member or friend.

      • jwz says:

        Who are almost always STORMTROOPERS.

      • b says:

        Yeah that's why I wrote "mostly sexual assault, not gone forever kidnapping." When a guy loiters at a school and then lures a kid into the white panel van the charges are kidnapping and rape (oddly enough the same exact charges if you are an uber driver). But in both cases it's not "the kid is gone forever" kidnapping, which is of course all family and friends. Instead it's just the "need a lot of therapy and now a guaranteed future loveline caller" kidnapping.
        Anyway I agree this is stupid we have to live this way. But the issue is not stormtrooper per se, it's that the kind of guy who does this has screws loose, and when you have screws loose you're more likely to do dumb things. That someone chooses to demonstrate their mental instability next to a school, where the only possible targets are kids less equipped to handle your shenanigans, is the main issue. And if he was just protesting, he picked a fairly stupid way to go about it!

        • Mike says:

          "But the issue is not stormtrooper per se, it's that the kind of guy who does this has screws loose."

          No? If yes, why?

          • Leonardo Herrera says:

            Lurking around a school, costume or not, is just a no-no for any sane person.

            • jwz says:

              When I was in high school, I lurked around in costumes all the time. So uh.

              • Leonardo Herrera says:

                My point exactly!

                Well, a high schooler around a school is probably ok, so yeah, uh. But if you 1) are older than most high schoolers, and 2) have no business to do around that location (for example, being a performer [and better if being asked to perform there], waiting for a cab, showing up early for a flashmob, etc.) then you are probably not sane.

                In any case, too much ado about nothing. Cosplayers are mostly harmless.

  4. A Stormtrooper Representative says:

    Stormtrooper Protests Uncomprehending Society: "No one understands me" stormtrooper allegedly said at arraignment.

    Stormtrooper Founds Foundation for Stormtrooper Rights: "Society really ought to understand stormtroopers," stormtrooper says. "This is very important for preserving stormtrooper freedoms for future generations of stormtroopers. If stormtroopers are not allowed to loiter innocently outside of schools, who will teach our children what stormtroopers are? What we stand for?"

    Rebel Alliance Unavailable For Comment: Attempts to locate the hidden Rebel Base in order to reach the Rebel Alliance Public Relations Department for comment on the Stormtrooper Affair were unsuccessful.

    Stormtrooper Denies Participation in the Holocaust: "No," said the stormtrooper in response to a question from reporters "no, that's, like, not even the right universe. You've got the wrong universe there. I had nothing to do with that. Look: the glove doesn't fit. I'm already wearing gloves. It's not the same glove, see? Wrong glove. This is persecution, man. You're persecuting me."

    Lucas Denies Wrongdoing, Mafia Ties: Amid allegations of shady practices related to the promotion of the upcoming Star Wars films, George Lucas went on the record today in what many consider an ill-advised attempt to salvage his public image. "Your childhood belongs to me," Lucas said, "and so do your children. They will never slip through my fingers. You will give them to me yourself, willingly. You will give me their innocent little minds, their innocent little souls, on a silver platter, and I will own them just like I own you. You know you love it. You know they will love it. If they refuse to be stormtroopers, then they will be Ewoks. They will join me, in my universe. My universe, you understand me? Not yours, not some stupid school's. Mine. That is the only place they will be safe. I have not done anything wrong." Several stormtroopers who were present at the press conference applauded, and Lucas continued: "This is only the beginning," Lucas said. "You don't know how many fully armed and operational battlestations I have. You have no idea. This universe will be made safe for stormtroopers if I have anything to say about it. I don't care how many Bothans have to die to make it happen. Now give me all your money."