Stormtrooper costume leads to high school evacuation on Star Wars Day

This still frame taken from video submitted by Chase Coleman shows a student walking into Ashwaubenon High School May 4, 2017, wearing a Star Wars costume.

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WLUK) -- May the fourth be with you. The fourth of May, has become a day Star Wars fanatics celebrate each year.

But this year it turned into force on the fourth, by police in Ashwaubenon at the high school.

You could say, a student took Star Wars Day a little too far and even sparked the evacuation of Ashwaubenon High School Thursday morning.

When Chase Coleman, a junior, noticed the student dressed as a stormtrooper, he grabbed his phone and recorded it.

"I was getting ready to go into school and we were sitting in the car and we saw a student in a costume and I didn't think anything of it," Coleman said. "He was walking down the sidewalk toward the school. This is the swimming pool area and he's walking towards the back of the gym."

While Coleman realized the student was in costume, police say a person who saw the student thought otherwise, and called 911.

"That outfit actually looked like that he might be wearing a bullet proof vest or a flack jacket and that coupled with wearing that mask and walking into the back door of the school, made a person very concerned and we expect that to happen. And, we sure hope that people would call when this stuff takes place," said Capt. Jody Crocker with Ashwaubenon Public Safety.

The school evacuated students. As they stood outside, officers went inside.

"I went outside and saw everybody running and it was just crazy," Coleman said.

Another student says even though he wasn't at school during the incident, it still scared him.

"I was completely concerned. I was shaking from the family, friends, and school in general because we're a small community, you know, we don't have that kind of thing here," said Collin Klein, a junior at Ashwaubenon High School.

Police questioned the boy, dressed as a stormtrooper, and felt his costume was an innocent mistake.

"There's no harm here," Crocker said.

Eventually, students returned to class.

The school principal, Brian Nelsen, says costumes aren't allowed and they're against school policy.

"A student made a mistake today and we'll move forward. We'll make it a learning lesson. I'll be meeting with the students to re-emphasize that, hey, we have to keep each other safe," said Nelsen.

May 4 is commonly observed as Star Wars Day among fans of the movie franchise. "May the Fourth Be With You" is a play on words stemming from a famous quote from the movie, "May the Force Be With You."

Editors note: Ashwaubenon Public Safety initially identified the student dressed up in a Darth Vader costume, however officials now say the student was wearing a stormtrooper outfit. The story has been updated to reflect the change.

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