Okay, so a Stormtrooper, a Ghostbuster, and a really drunk guy walk into a bar. No, wait, excuse me. This isn’t a joke. This is a deadly serious tale of physical assault that just happened to be directed against two men dressed like a Stormtrooper and a Ghostbuster at the time, respectively. There’s nothing funny about this. Stop laughing, dammit!
These two decent, upstanding citizens — who, again, were dressed like a Stormtrooper and a Ghostbuster (seen above) — were minding their own business and goofing around outside of Portland’s Coast City Comics this past Saturday. As you may have known, that day was the nationally celebrated “Free Comic Book Day,” so this sort of thing was happening all over the country at the time. People being dressed like Stormtroopers and Ghostbusters, I mean. Not the whole “getting assaulted” thing.
Then, for reasons not yet known, a 6’4, 300-pound asshole named Adam Barnes, 31, decided to put the hapless Stormtrooper in a chokehold. But a regular chokehold, not the Force kind. Things escalated quickly from there, with police soon arriving and tasering Barnes, who presumably has seditious ties to Rebellion, or possibly Gozer the Gozerian. Barnes was eventually arrested and charged with “assault, disorderly conduct and five charges of threatening the five police officers.” There is still no motive behind the attack, but we here at GFR theorize that perhaps ‘bustin’ made Mr. Barnes feel good.
Again, I feel the need to emphasize that there is nothing funny about violence directed toward our hardworking Imperial soliders and paranormal disposal specialists. I’d hate for this to all be taken too lightly. And now we go to a report from the Bangor Daily News, provided by eyewitness Bobby Daggett, who was dressed as Green Lantern at the time:
‘There were a bunch of people standing outside trying to drum up business and one guy was dressed as a Stormtrooper,’ said Daggett. ‘Out of nowhere this guy tried to put [the guy in the Stormtrooper costume] in a chokehold from behind and then throws him to the ground. He was trying to be intimidating above him and screamed obscenities to everybody.’
Barnes had walked across the street to commit the assault, Daggett said.
‘Why would somebody just decide to go well out of their way to do it?’ Daggett asked.
I think we all know the answer to that, Bobby, even if we don’t want to say it out loud: Adam Barnes is clearly a supervillain of some sort. Make no mistake, that man has skeletons in his closet, and every one of them is wearing spandex.
Police Lieutenant Gary Hutcheson said, “I’ve been a cop for 23 years, I’ve never heard of a Ghostbuster and a Stormtrooper getting assaulted.”
GFR reached out to founding Ghostbuster Dr. Peter Venkman for comment on the incident, but were first put on hold and then redirected to an angry-sounding man named Peck. He sounded like a real jerk.