If Florida has its own hashtags for the slew of odd criminal stories popping up on the daily, then this cosplayer would certainly be the poster child for #WTFJapan. A man dressed in a Stormtrooper outfit found himself enjoying a hobby in the wrong place at the wrong time when an anonymous tweeter sent out a message threatening mass murder at the public train station he had just entered.
“At noon on May 26, 2013, I will kill people at Sapporo Station,” tweeted @vmlvlltl, a now-defunct Twitter account. Before the account was suspended, the tweet was shared by users warning people of the possible incident.
Meanwhile, a cosplayer dressed as Stormtrooper roamed said station in Hokkaido, Japan with his toy blaster rifle drawn, presumably just getting his Star Wars swag on. Twitter users who saw the offending tweet then posted photos of the cosplayers, citing a “suspicious” person who was later dubbed a “killer robot.” After that … well, basically, things got awkward. Here’s what we gathered from some rough Google Translations.
“I wanted to go to see the killer robot,” tweeted @mamikawaguchi. “There was a killer notice in [Sapporo] station. The culprit’s the robot after all?” tweeted @arisa10. “Was at Sapporo today. I heard that’s where the killer robot was walking underground,” tweeted @sonyu10music. “I saw two guys quite similar to the [killer robot], but he was shaking hands with a small child,” tweeted @OeO_u.
The Stormtrooper outfit, combined with a poorly-timed tweet, terrified the public, and the cosplayer ended up surrounded by police in what one witness described as being “taken into custody.” As if the story couldn’t get any stranger, another man dressed in just his underwear was spotted at Sapporo Station around the same time, continuing to scare Twitter users who had seen the original offending tweet. That man was also taken into police custody, according to reports. Neither the pantsless man nor the cosplayer were confirmed to have been planning a mass attack, so we’ll just chalk it up to Japan being Japan.
Still, props to local police for actually investigating a random online threat. Better safe than sorry, even if the outcome turned out to be a weird twist of events.