June 21, 2018
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Police: Westbrook man arrested after allegedly assaulting Stormtrooper, Ghostbuster during Free Comic Book Day

By Alex Barber, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — A Westbrook man was Tasered by police on Saturday after allegedly assaulting a man dressed as a Stormtrooper and another man dressed as a Ghostbuster.

Adam Barnes, 31, was arrested on State Street after assaulting two people in costume and threatening police, said Portland police Lt. Gary Hutcheson.

Coast City Comics, at the corner of Congress Street and Park Street, was hosting an event associated with Free Comic Book Day, a national event, on Saturday, according to Jarrett Melendez, event coordinator. About a dozen people were dressed in costume, such as Ghostbusters, Stormtroopers from Star Wars, the Green Lantern and Wonder Woman.

Bobby Daggett of Portland, dressed as Green Lantern, said he witnessed the first assault.

“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 is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds and was intoxicated at 2:30 p.m. when he was arrested, Hutcheson said.

Daggett said the scene was so bizarre that he didn’t think it was real.

“I didn’t think it was malicious [at first]. I thought they were messing around,” said Daggett. “But the guy in costume had no idea who this guy was.”

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.

Daggett said he didn’t witness a man in a Ghostbusters costume get assaulted, but Hutcheson said Barnes punched the Ghostbuster.

Barnes was confronted by police a block away.

“He was taunting and challenging police officers and then he got Tased,” said Hutcheson.

Hutcheson agreed with Daggett that the event was strange.

“I’ve been a cop for 23 years, I’ve never heard of a Ghostbuster and a Stormtrooper getting assaulted,” he said.

Barnes was charged with two counts of assault, disorderly conduct and five counts of criminal threatening because he reportedly threatened all five officers at the scene. He was taken to Cumberland County Jail in Portland. A mugshot of Barnes was not available Saturday evening.

Correction: An earlier version of this story requires correction. Coast City Comics, not Coastal City Comics, was hosting an event associated with Free Comic Book Day.

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