And the police admit no wrong-doing.
The umbrella was one with a handle that looks like a samurai sword. I could even understand it if people were concerned he had a sword (but let's be clear, nobody is EVER concerned in this state that someone might have a sword. It's just guns that scare them). But no, they thought it was a rifle. Seriously.
So this poor guy is traumatized, feels the need to return his umbrella, and has to live with the guilt of a whole mall evacuating because he decided to go shopping one day in the rain.
I must confess, I too own an umbrella like this. I have one exactly like it. And I've walked around malls with it. You know what happened? Some little kid said, "Look! He's got a sword, that's cool!" That's it. No incident.
Another day I was carrying it on my back and happened to pass a police car stopped at a light (I walk everywhere). He felt the need to lean out the window and ask what it was and where I was going. I assured him it was an umbrella. His response? "You sure about that?" First of all, as I'm the one carrying it, I'm obviously sure about it, you idiot. But I showed it to him and he was satisfied. It was stupid and annoying to be questioned for having a cool umbrella. Besides which, if it were a REAL katana, it would be obvious as the handle wouldn't be one big plastic piece. But I could at least understand one cop who happened to see it just checking. That, while annoying, was him doing his job and not making a big deal of it. But I cannot understand calling in police from all over Burlington and the surrounding towns before anyone's even checked the security cameras.
Now there is talk of outlawing "scary umbrellas" in the state. I'm putting my foot down now. To anyone in the state reading this, stand up for our rights! We already have some of the strictest gun laws in the country. We already have all sorts of ridiculous rules regarding knives and such, as well as non-firing replica handguns. How is anyone any safer if I don't have an umbrella? You know what, we have a Constitutional right to bear arms be they guns, knives or swords. I'm sure that means I can carry whatever umbrella I want. Even if I WERE walking down the street with a sword on my back, so what? As long as it's not out and being brandished at someone, I'm sure we can all live our lives without incident. Enough with the reactionary police state. Enough with the waste of our money and media resources. You and I know that the media were all there at the mall hoping it WAS something juicy like a shooter, which is why the had nonstop coverage of nothing happening for over an hour. Enough already.
Actually, my umbrella was taken by someone at work about a month ago on a rainy day, and I'd like it back. I don't take things that aren't mine. And I certainly don't think the state should be taking them from everyone. Nobody likes their parades rained on, especially when they have no umbrellas. All I'll say is that you can have my umbrella when you pry it from my cold, wet, dead hands.