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Police Disarmed Knife-Wielding Man Wearing a Chewbacca Costume at Michaels Store

Montgomery County Police responded to a potentially dangerous and deadly situation at the Michael’s craft store in the Milestone Shopping Center at 20902 Frederick Road in Germantown on Sunday afternoon.

Police were called to the store at about 4:31 pm on Sunday, Oct. 1 after a man wearing a Chewbacca costume entered the store. The caller stated that a man wearing a costume was acting “strange” in the store.

Officers arrived at the store and were met by the manager, who stated that she had seen a male wearing what she believed to be a dog costume, walking repeatedly in and out of the store; she said he seemed disoriented and possibly had a knife in his possession.

Officers began to attempt to locate the male in the business. While they were doing so, numerous customers and the manager informed the officers that the male was now in the rear of the store, carrying a knife and causing a disturbance. Witnesses were able to provide a description of the male and said that he had removed the costume he was previously wearing.

Officers began to clear the store of customers and employees.

The suspect was found in the back of the store by an officer. His hand was drawn in a fist and he was holding a fold-out knife. The officer began to give commands to the male to put the approximately four-inch knife down.

Among the officers in the store was Officer Charles Ricucci who ordered the man to drop the knife. The man did not comply and began advancing on the officer. The officer drew his firearm and created distance but the male disregarded numerous commands and continued to move closer to the officer.

5th District Deputy Commander, Lt. Jim Brown said the officers at that time had to make a split second decision to defend themselves and possibility shoot the armed man or wait for another option.

The suspect then turned down an aisle in the direction of the store exit and in the path of customers. At that time, a second officer was able to fire a taser at the suspect and get him on the ground. The man who was still actively fighting police was then placed into custody.