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05/13/2018 / By Ethan Huff
A 42-year-old man from Pennsylvania is being charged with assault and harassment after his 75-year-old mother told authorities that he allegedly beat her with one of the Star Wars-inspired light sabers that he owns as part of an extensive collection of science fiction paraphernalia.
Andrew Vargas, who reportedly still lives with his mother Joan, is said to have caused the woman to bleed from gashes both on her head and wrists. Joan reportedly called the police on April 27 after the incident occurred, and was quickly removed from her home in Dubois by emergency medical workers who treated her for her injuries.
Joan told law enforcement officials that her son Andrew “hit her repeatedly with what she called a light saber,” presumably in the same fashion as characters from the movie series did to ward off villains from the Galactic Empire. The biggest difference, of course, is that Joan isn’t Darth Vader or Emperor Palpatine, but rather Andrew’s elderly matriarch.
Joan says that her son Andrew “began striking her with this saber in the head, on her back/neck area, and on her wrist,” but “could not say why Andrew struck her with the saber.” She did, however, explain that her 330-pound son owns many other light sabers, and has an affinity for all things Star Wars.
When confronted by police, Andrew denied that he struck his mother, insisting that she was “hitting herself and that she has many issues.” Andrew has since been arrested on misdemeanor assault and harassment charges and is currently being held in the Clearfield County jail in lieu of his $10,000 bail.
Andrew has been found guilty of several previous crimes, including convictions for theft, drunk driving, and criminal trespass. His police report explains that he is currently undergoing treatment for his “medical condition,” which presumably refers to an apparent mental abnormality.
Back in 2015, a light saber was apparently used in an opposite scenario to actually prevent a crime. Police in the United Kingdom reportedly used the Star Wars prop to break into the home of a drug dealer.
Officers from the West Yorkshire Police department actually filmed themselves breaking through a security gate outside of the suspected drug dealer’s home – the device visibly emitting sparks as it was seen heating and melting the steel bars.
When the video footage was eventually uploaded to Facebook, it was given a caption with a pun stating, “The war on drugs is heating up … literally.” The caption added, “It takes more than a security gate to stop the police gaining entry.”
As it turns out, the suspected drug dealer was growing cannabis plants, which are still prohibited in Great Britain, and neighbors were responsible for tipping off their local saber-wielding law enforcement officers as to the grow operation.
Just as fake as Star Wars itself were the warnings later issued by police and local media, who insisted that “drugs” like cannabis “fuel crime and anti-social behavior.” The warnings added that “criminality associated with the supply of drugs has a really negative impact on our communities.”
So, in lieu of fighting actual galactic invaders threatening the subsistence of the planet, some law enforcement groups are co-opting Star Wars weaponry in the continued “war on drugs.” And others are apparently using the fictitious toys to commit crimes against family members.
If you, too, are a Star Wars fan who likes to collect movie props like light sabers, keep in mind that you might have some trouble traveling with them. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) apparently considers light sabers to be actual weapons – and now we know why.
Sources for this article include: