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  • 6 men arrested at comic book expo

    Posted on August 29th, 2004 Rob No comments

    Aug. 29, 2004. 01:00 AM
    Police seize replica swords
    6 men arrested at comic book expo

    Crossbows, knives, daggers for sale

    Source: The Toronto Star

    Fans of science fiction, anime, comics and medieval weaponry were wondering yesterday why one of the longest-running and most popular booths at the Canadian Comic Book Expo had disappeared.

    "I was kind of looking forward to seeing those guys again," said Gary Loyst, who recalled a display from last years Expo that featured tables stacked with swords, daggers, maces and war hammers. "I'd never seen weapons like that sold before."

    That booth, run by American online weapons company, was in Toronto for a fifth year, but the display was shut down by Toronto Police just hours after opening Friday night. It's six operators including two Torontonians hired as extra help  were arrested on multiple counts of possessing and selling prohibited weapons.

    Police cleared 12 tables worth of swords, double-edged knives and nunchakus, and carted away two truckloads of still-packaged weapons, said Detective Steve Tracy.

    "They assured us that the products were sold as props and weren't meant to be used as weapons," Tracy said.

    Staff Sergeant Richard Murdoch said police responded to a tip from an attendee and found several prohibited weapons for sale, such as throwing stars, one-handed crossbows, belt-buckle knives, push daggers and an easily concealed penknife.

    The swords, axes and replicas also sells are not prohibited, he said.

    Sean Martinez, 29 and Ling Martinez, 33, both of Missouri; Jarrod Martinez, 26, of Arizona and Abraham Martinez, 29, of New Mexico are in custody awaiting a bail hearing Monday.

    Toronto residents Alexander Petkovski, 28, and Andre Mansour, 30, were released; they are to appear in court on Monday.

    Expo organizer Aman Gupta said yesterday the weapons were inspected and cleared by Canadian customs agents when they were brought in from the United States last week.

    "I never expected this," Petkovski said after his appearance yesterday. "They weren't even sharp. It was fans buying swords from their favourite movies and then someone complained …"

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