“Westworld” Promo Freaks Cops On Mag Mile Saturday: “And We Though Comic Con Was Bad”

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.”

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com