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Cosplay photo shoot spooks Boca Raton residents, police

boca weapons

What began Saturday night in Boca Raton, Florida, as a seemingly harmless photo shoot for an upcoming comics convention, quickly turned into a tense confrontation with police.

According to Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander, concerned residents approached two officers to report they saw four or five people donning body armor and taking guns from the trunk of a car. The cops immediately rushed to the top floor of a nearby parking garage, where they found five men in “military-style outfits” brandishing firearms; one had two samurai swords strapped to his back. You can see some of their weapons and gear, including a Deadpool mask, in the photos above.

The officers ordered the young men to the ground at gunpoint, and quickly discovered the suspected terrorists were actually cosplayers brandishing prop weapons. They were issued trespassing citations and sent on their not-so-merry way, Alexander says, “with some words of wisdom.””Some folks are getting carried away in their quest for the next great social media post,” he writes on his blog. “Someone is going to get hurt.”

If this scenario seems vaguely familiar, it’s because in May, police in Jefferson City, Missouri, responded to 911 calls about gunmen at movie theater. It turned out they were costumed actors hired by the theater’s manager to promote Iron Man 3.

(via Broward/Palm Beach New Times)

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7 Comments

Lesson to be learned: when planning a cosplay photo shoot involving body armor, swords, guns, masks, and the like, it might be worth a five minute phone call to the local police station beforehand to allay any fears.

Years ago, during the early days of the 00s zombie craze, my old bandmates and I were making (what we hoped would be) the first of a series of post-zombie-apocalypse short films, and despite having a couple cameras, zombie extras, and assorted friends hanging around helping out, we still managed to get some visits from the RCMP (yes, this was in Canada) after worried calls from locals. We didn’t once trespass, and the prop guns were always kept in two duffel bags as a plot point. Eventually, the Mounties would respond to any calls just to see what we were doing that particular day – I don’t exactly live in a hotbed of crime, and they all thought it was pretty cool.

I like how you quote Alexander… who is he?

Alexander is Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander, as is clearly stated in the article.

Justsomedude…

The start of paragraph 2.. “According to Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander…”

Not to get all lawyer-like here, but I don’t understand how the coplayers were cited from trespassing. Per the article, they were in a parking garage, a (presumably) public place. Unless they refused to leave after being asked by either the manager of the garage or the police, they couldn’t have trespassed. It sounds like the police were annoyed that they got called out and decided to fine the people out of spite.

@ Kevin: Annoyed or not they also could have charged them with disturbing the peace and arrested them.Cosplayers who may have known about the Jefferson City incident were complete idiots to have done this without prior approval.This wasn’t cosplay it was provoking an incident.They still can have their day in court and maybe win in the long run.It’s unfortunate they weren’t arrested because then we could all google Arrest Records.com and have a godd laugh looking at their mug shots.

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