|A scene from Westworld season one. | HBO|
In most other major cities, hosting a fan night for the hit HBO sci-fi western Westworld would probably go unnoticed by authorities. But this is Chicago and we take walking down the street dressed as an armed cowboy a bit differently ‘round these parts, pardn’r.
Direct TV’s two-month-long Westworld celebration hit a high point Saturday evening when series star Leonardo Nam made an in-person appearance at AT&T’s flagship store, 600 North Michigan.
|The AT&T Flagship store at 600 North Michigan | Google|
When fans began showing up in advance of Nam’s arrival, many were decked out in traditional western apparel.
Then, around 7:45 on Saturday night, an off-duty cop called 911 to report seeing a “man with a gun” walking near the Magnificent Mile: “He’s a male white, cowboy hat, waist-length black leather coat, black jeans, cowboy boots, walking eastbound with a gun on each hip and a rifle in a white shopping bag,” a police dispatcher told units.
Officers swarmed the area and quickly found an “armed” cowboy on the corner of Michigan and Ontario near the AT&T store. “We got a guy in a cowboy hat,” an officer reported. “It’s a replica firearm.”
Oh, but things got weirder.
Just to be safe, the cops asked their off-duty colleague to swing by and make sure they had stopped the right guy. Nope, he said. You’ve stopped the wrong cowboy with a gun on Michigan Avenue.
|Costumed fans listen to Westworld star Leonardo Nam on Saturday at the Chicago AT&T flagship. | @ATTMichiganAve|
The search for the “right” cowboy resumed and quickly ended when another unit reported having him elsewhere in the same area. A few moments later, police realized what was going on: the Westworld promotion.
“Bunch of guys there with cowboy hats and replica guns,” an officer reported. “that woulda been good to know about 5 minutes ago.”
Both cowboys were quickly released to enjoy their Westworld experience.
“Think they should notify the PD next time?” an officer asked.
“And we thought comic con was bad.”