Obi-Wan Kenobi described the lightsaber as "an elegant weapon for a more civilized age." But that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. On Wednesday, 33-year-old David Canterbury was arrested by Portland police in a Toys R Us parking lot after a clash that pitted the cops' tasers against the Jedi knight's weapon of choice.
Just before 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, someone dialed 911 to report that a man inside a Toys R Us in Jantzen Beach had attacked several customers and an employee with a pair of lightsabers made from hard plastic. Police arrived on the scene to find Canterbury in the store's parking lot still swinging the toys, and "yelling incoherent statements."
When the cops tried to arrest Canterbury, he did his best Luke Skywalker impersonation and fought them off. That's when the fake lightsabers went head-to-head against two very real tasers. Here's what happened next, via the Portland Police Bureau:
One officer attempted to use a Taser but it was ineffective. A second officer used a Taser which made good contact but the suspect used the light saber to break one of the wires. Officers then were able to grab onto the suspect and take him to the ground and place him into custody as he continued to violently struggle and yell incoherent statements.
Sounds like the force is a little too strong with Canterbury. He was cited for three counts of assault, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of theft, one count of resisting arrest, and one count of interfering with a police officer, then transported to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.
According to Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson, Canterbury is "not unfamiliar with police contact or jail," and court records indicate he has several drug-related arrests.
"I can't say if he's got a history of [mental illness]," Simpson says, "But he clearly needed some treatment that night."
Updated at 10:26 a.m. with additional details about the encounter, and to clarify police statements about Canterbury's criminal history.