Carlsbad mall security banishes steampunk group

Manners beyond the pale — carousel ride and shopping plans foregone

Greeted by the Oceanside Police Dept.
  • Greeted by the Oceanside Police Dept.

Over 40 people in steampunk garb (Victorian dress meets sci-fi/time traveler) were turned away from the Westfield Plaza Mall in Carlsbad on February 9 — mall security told them to leave because they were breaking the mall’s “code of conduct.”

The code states that “wearing apparel that disguises, obscures or conceals the face” is not allowed.

Lisa Vaca, one of those costumed, stated, “Since none of us had any part of our faces obscured, we respectfully pointed it out to the three security guards, and then their new reason for asking us to leave was a mix of ‘this is private property so we can refuse entrance to anyone,’ and ‘a group of this number needs to call ahead first to get permission,’ and, our favorite, ‘recently we had a big problem with a vampire group who showed up here….’

Vaca further went on to state, “When they told us to leave, they didn't even give us the option to ‘Please remove your hats and other costume-type items if you want to stay.’ They just walked up to a couple of our wonderfully dressed women and said, ‘You have to leave!’”

Vaca told security that this same group went to the carousel at the Westfield Mall in El Cajon a few months ago and was welcomed with open arms.

Sandra Deakins, another steampunk participant, said she felt “corralled” and given the “ushering effect.” As they streamed out of the mall, the group was greeted by three Oceanside police patrol cars and three police officers.

“The police told us that they were just answering a call from mall security and wanted to make sure the group was nice folks,” said Vaca.

Steampunk Kim Keeline said, “We were told it was to keep out the riffraff. In various conversations with the security and the police, this was variously described as gangs, people in vampire costumes, a group that tried to come ride the carousel last week while wearing horsehead masks, and other such riffraff."

Others told me that security in golf carts followed some of the participants to their cars. The mall likely lost a lot of potential shoppers that day, as many said they had planned to do some store browsing after riding the carousel. Some told me that they will never return to this mall to shop.

When I called mall security to get a statement on February 10, the person on the other end of the phone told me they weren’t allowed to comment on the incident.

When I called mall management, I spoke to their operations manager, who asked to remain anonymous. When he said, “It was probably a misunderstanding. All Westfield Malls have the same code of conduct policy.”

I then told him this same group had no problem at the El Cajon Westfield Mall. He said, “No comment,” and wouldn’t answer any more questions. He told me to call the next day and speak to their district general manager, which I did.

District general manager Becky Smith couldn’t or wouldn’t come to the phone: her secretary said she was either in meetings or conference calls after I tried three times to reach her.

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More from SDReader


I was there. You were on private property wearing costumes and creating a disturbance. The mall had every right to ask you to leave. You were ALL very rude to the security staff... and I do not even like them. How dare you people lie and call security gang members. Shame on you all!

Sure you were there, riiiiigggghhhhttttt. You should call yourself "Idon'ttellthetruthguy" 'cuz you're lying through your teeth. Unless you're being sarcastic & if you are, you need to brush up on your sarcasm.

Just another lying troll under the bridge. Nothing to see here.

Where does it say anywhere that we called the security staff "gang members"? Did you even read the article?

Wearing costumes "disturbs" you, eh? sit down, and explain to us all why costumes frighten you...just clown costumes or costumes in general? And when did you quit beating your wife?

Ho hum, I agree with my friend Jeb, who was there right along side of us...apparently this so called "un-truth" guy must have been in a corner smoking something he wasn't supposed to be to see something he never could have, to make such a ludicrous comment. Go back down your hole young varmint and leave the nice people alone.

Well, from the photo and video evidence of the incident, the steampunk group was in no way causing a disturbance nor were they confrontational or non-compliant with anything security asked them to do at any time (and since the bulk of the group was only in the mall a total of perhaps 10 minutes, how could any disturbance have been created?) The O'side Police Officer agreed that we were not causing any harm and was sympathetic with us, even trying himself to telephone Becky Smith, the Westfield gen manager to explain on our behalf. He was unable to reach her, though, and in the end agreed with our previously chosen decision to leave on our own simply because the security guards wanted us to leave. Which we were already doing before the police were called. Additionally, the group was mostly wearing victorian walking dresses, frock coats, top hats and puff ties. How is any of that "costume" wear? Simply a look at the photos and videos (security feeds as well, I am sure) will show that many of these steampunks were wearing mostly clothing, shoes and accessories that can be purchased in the stores of this very mall. It is all put together in a way that reflects a bit of the modesty and decorum of 19th century fashion. Hopefully Becky Smith snd her employees will review the footage to see for themselves. And while it is true the group was on private property, it is also true that this private property is advertised to be open to the shopping-public, inviting in families and individuals and even groups of all types.

Well said 'm dear...and lovely dress and photo you posted....(note to that "truthguy" above, she's wearing clothing, NOT a costume).......

Things like this trouble me. I understand that a security guard is there to provide security-- but for whom, and against whom? They didn't even follow their own code of conduct-- this smacks of unprofessionalism. When professionals don't even follow their own established rules, what are we left with? A bunch of people who did nothing wrong, getting kicked out because they look different... Malls are supposed to be places where you shop for the things that best express your individuality-- yet when you have TOO MUCH individuality, you're asked to leave because you're wearing a "Costume"?? It didn't even obstruct the face, look at the picture, come on, people!

I am someone who wears what others might call "costumes" every day. If you argue that I can just take off the "costume" and come back to shop in their establishment, that argument falls flat with me, because that day will never come. I have my individuality, and I cherish it; it does not make me dangerous or worthy of guarding against. Their ridiculous and arbitrarily enforced policies make it essentially impossible for me to shop at their establishment.

I got on the horn and wrote a complaint to the feedback email of the Westfield Mall. I feel this kind of injustice and unprofessionalism is worth being called out, and I did so.

I am still waiting to hear back from Westfield, which, from the sound of things, is a normal thing. They apparently take a long time to respond.

An Open Letter to Westfield Shopping Center: https://www.facebook.com/InvictusAnimusAshleyLane/posts/817591611588376

I'm not sure if you're aware, but malls are NOT public domains. They are not state funded operations, they're privately funded public areas and showing up in costume (You say "dressed weird" but it constitutes a costume) with a giant group is more than enough reason to kick someone out. On top of that, because the group is being so childish about being kicked out-- they lost ANOTHER spot, the other mall denied them when they came back. Why? Because they told the mall owner "The other mall let's us in" and childish crap like that is why a lot of costumed people get flack from the public.

If the party had called ahead, which they didn't, the entire thing would have been avoided. I'm really ashamed that people are acting the way they are. On top of that, this article is bias. It villainizes the business owner and doesn't give us the full truth, just the truth the steampunks made. It's very "He said she said" and not an honest third-party article. It's bad journalism for the sake of starting drama.

And I honestly am on the mall managers side, and I'm a costumed hooligan myself to a degree, I just follow the rules. If 20+ people showed up in costume (which I'm aware there were) to my stores and my store owners had to put up with the hubub I'd have them out in two seconds flat. Why? because it's not only my property; it's the store owners property as well. You also are not aware of past events at the mall, or even the mall rules-- in fact no one knows anything about this mall because the article writer refuses to let people have both sides.

State parks are public areas, I suggested people go to the state parks and what reply did I see? "They went to the other mall and got kicked out :(" Come on! Learn that private property, which is what a mall is, is privately owned and not a costume stomping ground people are entitled to have! And rules change mall-to-mall! So please stop with this crusade of stupidity because it helps no one, the news articles are bias and villainize business owners for the pleasure of some costumed folk and trust me, I am one of them, I just do it in the right places.

Whether you (or I) like it or not, you DO represent the steampunk community and this is unacceptable behavior. Just go to a park, have a picnic, and stop raining entitlement to areas down on people who have the right to stop giant costumed parties from running around in their area.

Why ignore perfectly good parks and public rec areas to have a battle over something that, not only will never be won, but is pointless, dramatic, and rather childish. You got kicked out, move on.

So they'll allow gangbangers in their mall wearing their pants 12"+ below their waistline prison style but they won't allow Steampunks? Really classy, westfield. They were there to ride the carousel & shop & your rent-a-cops threw them out & compared them to a gang - you're employing some real winners there! You morons don't know how many people in the San Diego costuming community you just offended! We'll never shop in your overpriced malls ever again but I'm sure the gangbangers will continue to shoplift so I hope you enjoy taking care of them.

Obviously, Mr. "thetruthguy", you were nowhere in close proximity to the group. This group was IN NO WAY disrespectful of the security guards or any other beings. They ALL know that it is just a job they must do to feed their families and in no way a judgement call on the side of the security guards.

It is quite apparent that you have no knowledge of the San Diego Steampunk community in general, and THIS GROUP in particular. As I am a member in good standing of both, I DO have prior knowledge of these particular people. They are ALL upstanding members of the local community and some up North. Please do not speak disrespectfully of that of which you have no knowledge.

The shame is on you for speaking ill of these people without knowing them. Had you chosen to stay close, you would have observed the good natured comrades sharing a chuckle over this obvious "SOCIAL PROFILING". You should not call people "liars" when the TRUTH is NO ONE was being rude. I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS GROUP and NEVER heard the security guards spoken of as a "GANG". Where, then, does the term "LIAR" belong? Not with the Steampunk group. Perhaps you were too far away to hear exactly who used this term.

It is a sad statement when a well-known establishment will turn away patrons in elegant attire yet still allow entrance to males with their pants so low that their undergarments are clearly visible to all around including children; to females whose small garments leave almost nothing to the imagination. What has happened to our society when a "well dressed GENTLEMAN" is turned away in favor of a "THUG"? Or when a "modestly dressed LADY" is denied entrance in favor of (I know no other term to use here, I apologize in advance) "a half-dressed "HOOCHIE"? Sad for our world that children must encounter such imagery.

The shame ALSO lies with the Westfield General Manager, BECKY SMITH. Just because you hide from an incident doesn't mean it didn't happen. She could have and SHOULD HAVE addressed this matter right away, BEFORE her reluctance had generated so much unpleasant publicity. Had they allowed these kind gentlemen and gentlewomen to complete the planned event, they would see the group have a wonderful time, make other shoppers smile, spend enough money in the mall to make the shops happy, and go back to their homes leaving everyone around them with very pleasant memories of a group of respectful, well-dressed role models. Now, Westfield's error has had far reaching negative publicity for Plaza Camino Real and possibly other Westfield properties. Not a good decision Westfield Plaza Camino Real Management. Not a good move.

Again, well said.....couldn't agree more. Coming from another member of this group in good standing......

"So they'll allow gangbangers in their mall wearing their pants 12"+ below their waistline prison style but they won't allow Steampunks?" This statement by idahands says it all. This is just the tip of the iceburg as to why coastal North County residents don't go to the Carlsbad mall anymore. Perhaps mall management should put on a media event by apologizing and openly welcoming the group back.

I was on my way to meet the group, and I phoned a member of the group to let them know I'd be late. When he told me they were being escorted out of the mall by security, I thought he was surely joking. What could possibly be wrong with a bunch of people riding the carousel who are dressed much better than every other shopper at the mall? If anything, our group "pretties up" most places we go to. Not only is it a gross overreaction to kick us out and call the police, but it's just bad business! None of us will return to spend money at the is mall, and we'll be telling this story for years to come, so I'm sure it will deter others from shopping there as well. Apparently, the anonymous mall management is so scared of what this story will do to his/her reputation that they lied to this story's writer. The whole incident is completely unnecessary and reeks of unprofessional conduct!

All we wanted to do was ride the carousel and this is what happenend. I can somewhat understand their hesitance as there seems to have been issues with other groups in the past, but I am very disappointed that the mall management treated our group with disrespect and has responded this way with no hint of extending an apology. There was no misunderstanding, the mall security was adamit that we were to leave period. Calling the police added insult to injury. The event was handled and is still being handled very poorly. I've never been to this mall and have no intentions of going back. Westfield has been taking over malls for sometime now and is a huge corporate giant that doesn't really take customer care seriously. I think I'm still in shock this event actually happened. I've never had a negative reaction in public to being dressed steampunk. We often go on group outings to an array of venues and have never had a negative reaction or been asked to leave an establishment. We usually get asked to return! I agree that the mall should host a steampunk event and invite us to attend to make amends but I don't get the vibe they will support this suggestion. Maybe enough negative publicity will get their attention, as it would be wonderful to resolve this in a polite and professional manner.

Banishment, Exile, pretty harsh word for simply kicking out the undesireables that clog our sidewalks, streets, restaurants and oh, of course our Federally protected last bastions of social and financial conformity, the Malls. WestField has always shown a deep concern for its shoppers and I for one am happy and I feel a whole heck of alot safer knowing that pseudo vampires aren't allowed leaving room for the real vampires to choose their dining subjects. What pleases me even more is the fact that these Vapor Non-conformists are being held in check. Have you seen their weapons? The technology behind steam fused lazers is way ahead of it's Victorian origins and threatens the very existence of our shopping rights as consumers! I congratulate you on your exclusion of these undesireables and further more I encourage you to keep the asians, hispanos, and of course the afro-americans OUT! They're all subversives that demand equality, civil,(and human) rights. Lets also give credit to the Carlsbad police for making sure such exclusions are lawfully enforced. Good, happy feeling stuff all around. Shoot, I forgot the jews too! Yeah the jews!!!

It would seem appropriate to write some stern words to:

Becky Smith, to get her official response to this incident.

Westfield Corporate, about your disapproval of Becky Smith's and actions taken place on their premises, and your intention to boycott if the situation does not improve for paying customers.

Hot Topic (Corporate), the Carousel owner, the Camino Real Cinema Times theater, the Disney Store, Spencer's, GameStop, Comics N Stuff, the Hat Club, Fast Fix Jewelry & Watch Repair (all those pocketwatches) or any other business within the mall, about your circumstances that you will not be able to shop at their stores because of the way you are treated there, despite the fact they sell items of interest to these particular crowds they want to attract. It's one thing to for one lone person to no longer shop at a mall, but to actively propose that certain businesses may do better outside of the mall real estate may be the correct stance here. Businesses want to connect to their customers (and sell their goods!), and if Westfield impacts these businesses from making money, then they should find better places to be seen and visited. I don't think Westfield is doing any favors to their 'real customers' ; the storeowners.

In regards to irate customers , the more that complains to the right people, the more one might actually listen.

Something to think about when San Diego Comic Con takes over all the hotels in the area this summer again.

Since it was not posted on their website, on any entrance to the mall or anywhere on the premises that "costumes will not be tolerated" we didn't think it would be a problem.... You have to depend on security to ask you to leave before seeing their policy on how to dress while shopping!

Little did we know that sitting and having some lunch or wanting to ride a carousel while dressed in actual clothing, that some of the stores do sell, we would be asked to leave before we could go shopping and buy more "costumes" that we would never be able to wear while in the mall!

Oh, I see. the old "we can't tell you what will disturb us ahead of time, but we will know it when we see it and choose to apply a solution randomly..." I get it.

This is stupid. I use to be Security at Camino Real. The only time we used that rule was for Halloween! Even then we didn't kick people out! I didn't see any reason to ban them. Banishment was used for Shoplifters! If they did banish them and not just ask them to leave they are not allowed in any Westfield mall. This was so stupid. Glad I'm not there anymore!

OK, we know what you Steam-Punkers were up to. Don't think we don't. You were hoping to transform that carrousel into a Steam-Punk time machine and take the whole thing back to 1895!
Admit it. The Westfield mall security agents saw right through your subterfuge and saved the merry-go-round for the kids. Go try your nefarious plots at some other, less astute mall.
Like South Coast Plaza.
We're on to you.

Another photo taken that day which quite breaks my heart. Yes, I find it heartbreaking that these two level-headed, peaceful gentlemen had to face the humiliation of being made to leave a public shopping area simply because of the suits they were wearing. This is Mr. James Keeline and Mr. George Lusk, pictured standing outside the Westfield mall in Carlsbad on Sunday 2/9/2014 about 1:15, just after they (and approx. 15 other "steampunk" hobbyists) were told they had to leave because of the way they were dressed, which as you can see, is exquisite! Photo taken by Mrs. Laura Lusk.

I have not the words to describe my disappointment in the manner in which this was handled. To think that mall staff would allow that public hooligan Justin Bieber before allowing such dapper folk as all of you. And to think that they would keep their mechanical amusements to themselves when the whole purpose is to bring joy to the public masses.

TL;DR: The top hat is the new hoodie. thetruthguy was there, and this is him in his car.

I'm part of Lady Mari's Costume Walkabout group where we are invited by various venues, such as the San Diego Symphony, to appear in our attire to compliment the events and the patrons enjoy our presence. I know many of the people that were a part of this particular event and can say with surety that when we are all garbed in our finest we are on our best behavior. We all have manners, are soft-spoken, say Ma'am and Sir, curtsey and bow, so I cannot imagine the group, or even individuals of the group being rude to the guards or the police officers who were called without reason. If any member had been rude to the police I'm sure they would have been escorted to the local lock-up so the lack of that is, in itself, an indicator of how the participants responded.

Shame on the management for avoiding any contact. It does not just go away because you do not make a statement. It should have been dealt with and, truth be told, an apology extended to the group members for the eviction from a public venue.

I know a good many cosplayers here in San Diego and elsewhere and would be absolutely shocked if the steampunk group had acted in any but the most polite of manner.

Having said that, a disguise need not cover the face. when you have a large mass of people in unusual attire it is very easy for a bad apple to use this as camouflage for bad behavior. Kind of like the story of the bank robber wearing the most outrageously bad tie. The police get great descriptions....of the tie, not the robber.

Bear in mind I have seen this tactic used by pickpockets and thieves while working security details around the world. The bandits dress like the tourists and blend into the flock as a wolf in sheep's clothing. They fade back into the crowd in the blink of an eye and are masters of misdirection.

Did mall security over react? Yes. Was their reaction completely unfounded? No. trouble was highly unlikely, but not a non-entity. I do agree that the wannabe gang-bangers are a much more likely source of trouble. However the nail that sticks up is the first to get hammered down if you take my meaning.

The group, and Mall management need to come to an accord before any outing of this magnitude. That is just good manners. IF mall management can ever find five minutes when they are not on a conference call or in a meeting.


Congregating and loitering in groups of three (3) or more.....

Engaging in expressive activity not sponsored by the center and/or an enterprise(s) engaged in business at the center, without complying with the center's rules for such activity....

Photographing or videotaping any individual or entity on the center's property without prior consent of the subject or center management......

I just had to go get the code of conduct. I did not even include the no costumes portion.. everyone else has and no one seems to care that it says no costumes.

So I wonder how long it took all of you "fine ladies and gentlemen" to exit the mall. 5 minutes or 45 minutes?

How many of you surrounded the two security officer's? No wonder ONE CARLSBAD Police officer showed up.

I am so tired of people thinking they are better than others and are ALLOWED to due whatever they please, where ever they please and when ever they please... and get upset and called harassment and discrimination when they are told NO.

I honestly believe that you "fine ladies and gentlemen" need to loosen your corset's and top hats and realize that mall security enforcing mall policy and you felt that it did not pertain to yourselves

I find it hard to hold my tongue at some of the absolute outrageous claims that some have posted. Harassment. Discrimination. Banishment... all of it hogwash

You were told NO... you did not like that.... plain and simple. STOP trying to blame others for doing their jobs and following rules and maybe look within yourselves to see if all of these outlandish claims you are making are 100% accurate. You may shock yourself.

The truth guy:

Thank you for speaking up on something you feel so strongly about. While you and I disagree on many portions, I have to address something you brought up which was, regrettably, factually inaccurate.

Here is the text of the CoC of Westfield Re: costumes:

"The Following are not permitted on Center Property:

...wearing apparel that disguises, obscures or conceals the face, including but not limited to costumes, hoods, or masks..."

While the grammatical structuring of this passage is somewhat ambiguous, an analysis of the sentence yields the meaning: that "costumes" are a reference to "apparel", so we replace it in the previous clause thus: "wearing costumes that disguise, obscure, or conceal the face" (is not allowed on center property).

I understand it may be difficult to glean the meaning from these codes of conduct-- that is, in point of fact, why they are written the way they are written-- however, a grammatical analysis of the specific code of which you speak, again indicates that no member of this group was in violation of the policy because NONE OF THEM WERE WEARING ANYTHING THAT CONCEALED THE FACE.

Regarding the code which states that patrons may not congregate in groups of 3 or more, as I addressed earlier, this is 1) a policy that no security guard mentioned at any time to the groups, so is considered, for the purposes of our discussion, irrelevant, and 2) if we must consider it relevant, consider it thus: it is a code not followed for everyone at the mall, because groups of 3 or more regularly shop there without harassment from security guards. Therefore, if the code was arbitrarily enforced against these steampunks, it was enforced discriminatorially, so the charge of discrimination still stands.

Re: engaging in expressive activity not sponsored by the center: I think we need to look at that whole clause to better understand what is meant by "expressive activity":

"Engaging in expressive activity not sponsored by the Center and/or an enterprise(s) engaged in business at the Center, without complying with the Center’s rules for such activity. This includes, without limitation, the solicitation of money or other contributions or donations, or distribution of commercial advertising or promotional material of any kind, or offering samples of items which are sold, available for sale or available in exchange for a donation or contribution."

So we can clearly see, if we take this code in context, that what is meant by "expressive activity" could be more accurately defined as "soliciting" or "political" activity, or asking for donations. Expressive activity is not contextually shown to mean "expressing the self" in a way "not approved" by mall management-- and I find such an assertion truly ridiculous! If malls could determine how their patrons could and could not express, what in the hell kind of world would we live in???

Ohwaitmaybeonewherepeople getkickedoutofmalls fordressingweird.

Part 2/2:

Re: Photographing any individual on the center's property:

"Photographing or videotaping any individual or entity on the Center’s property without prior consent of the subject or Center management."

The grammar is again, pretty unambiguous here. It specifically states: "OR", in there. E.g., if the consent of the subject is obtained, e.g. the steampunkers said pictures were fine, then pictures were FINE.

Also, I wish to bring up a little legal gem that a friend of mine found: It's called discrimination in places of public accommodation. The basics of it are this: in places that provide services to the public, even privately owned places, service is not to be denied to anyone in a discriminatory fashion.

There is no "they were entitled and self-righteous and then got angry because they were told NO". This is an instance of arbitrary enforcement of laws against some people but not others on the basis of snap visual judgments about what some styles of difference mean. It is not supportive of the very climate malls purport to forward; it discriminates against individuality and it stubbornly insists in its own self-righteousness without compromise.

This was not a case of steampunks blaming security guards for doing their jobs, this is a case of steampunks facing discrimination because security guards WEREN'T doing their jobs. The guards guarded against the wrong damn people.

So the fact that a group of 40 or so white, middle aged, presumably well educated people who were dressed in costumes went to the mall to do a "Flash Mob" (direct quote from your own steam punk group and posted online) on the carousel, without prior consent of mall management and were told they could not do so... is discrimination???

I find that interesting.

I am sure the Westfield legal team did not spend countless hours and money coming up with the wording of the "code of conduct". I am sure that Westfield did not spend anytime what-so-ever making sure that their security team did not know the exact meaning of the code of conduct and how they are to enforce it.

So steam punks have every right in the world to go to a mall for a flash mob, because they presumed it would be ok? And when told NO, its discrimination?

Who gives a damn what your were dressed as.... policy was enforced. Period!

No one discriminated against your steam punk group for telling them they could not be in the mall in costume.

Also.... the mall, as landlords, have the right to refuse service to anyone. Its also funny how I personally witnessed a security officer hand a member of your group a copy of the code of conduct within the first 5 minutes of the interaction.

Then, in your interpretation of these "rules", a family of FOUR entering the mall is against the rules; a group of THREE is against the rules. Those Girl Scouts who took a PHOTOGRAPH inside the mall in front of a store is against the rules. Five employees walking together in work clothing may not enter since ALL CLOTHING is considered "costume". We STEAMPUNKS most certainly DO NOT expect anyone to give us favored treatment, only FAIR TREATMENT, which we did not get that day. We are respectful citizens. No one disparaged the Security guards. No one was disrespectful to the police. Almost all of us did not go back into the mall. Those who did had an escort without complaint. No one "surrounded" the guards unless they were trying to hear what was being said.
It is sad that this has made you so angry. As you were not a part of this unfortunate incident, you need not let it bother you. If you are sorry that you were not part of the Steampunk group, there are many local groups that you may find on Facebook and possibly join. Then you will understand the REAL face of Steampunk. If not, you are missing out on a wonderful group of great people.

The truth guy:

Again, I am sorry we seem to be having some trouble communicating. Unfortunately, I believe this is one of those instances where we will have to agree to disagree, as you seem to have already reached your conclusion, for some reason, that the steampunks were in the wrong, and you are therefore unwilling to hear anything I have to say. If this were not true, you would have seen that I have already addressed every one of your concerns/points you just brought up in the 2 part response I wrote to you, above. As such, it seems nothing I have to say is going to change your mind, or indeed is even getting read, and that's alright, because I know everyone has differing views and I have mine. Your view just so happens to include not hearing anyone else's points. All I can do is point to relevant evidence and hope you take the truth into account, as your namesake suggests.

A few more points I feel I should bring up before I decide to take myself back to my corner of the internet and give you your space:

I have done even more research, and found some other interesting tidbits, personal accounts, and information.

Accordingly, a quote: "the mall security personnel ignored/refused multiple requests to see the [conduct] policy and speak with the security manager on duty (Mike ?)".

Part 2/2:


Apparently, at the time the mall security escorted the steampunks off the premises, there were not 40 people there in costume. 40 people were signed up to attend that day, but not everyone came. At a group photo taken at a nearby local steampunk-friendly establishment (off Westfield Property) approximately one hour later, one can clearly see exactly 27 people in attendance, a far cry from the 40 you claim. Furthermore, by the time that photo was taken, many MORE people had arrived for the event than were originally present at the Westfield mall, so considerably LESS than said 27 steampunks were ever actually on Westfield property that day. Lastly, a photograph taken of the actual incident itself and found without too much digging shows 3 security guards standing in a doorway blocking the entrance, and between 7-12 steampunks visible in the reflection on the glass doors. I faithfully performed this count myself and threw in a few extra for good faith... there were no more than 12 steampunks in the photograph of the incident, and you can see the whole group in the reflection on the doors. So if you really say you saw 40 people "surrounding the security guards", I can only imagine you were somewhere else that day, witnessing a different incident, because there is literally and physically no way you could have seen what you claim to have seen, meaning you are either not "the truth guy", or you were seeing some other group get escorted out of some mall.

But again, I understand that because you and I are different people with different views and you appear to enjoy a good internet debate even to the exclusion of including actual truth in your statements, and you have already decided that you have the right of it, there is no way I could convince you that what you are claiming is actually impossible. I am sorry, my friend, but as we seem unable to communicate, I don't feel as though there's anything else I could do here besides leave the conversation, and let The Actual Truth speak for itself.

Over 40 people in steampunk garb (Victorian dress meets sci-fi/time traveler) were turned away from the Westfield Plaza Mall in Carlsbad on February 9 — mall security told them to leave because they were breaking the mall’s “code of conduct.”

Exact quote from above article..... FINALLY someone pointed out the fact that 40 people were not involved.

I wonder what else in the article is, in fact, false

and by the way... I never said I saw 40 people surrounding security... please read more carefully next time.

The opening statement in the article of 40 people is MY mistake. I wrote the article and even though it said over 40 had responded on the invite, I now see there weren't that many at the actual event. It certainly has no bearing whatsoever on the truthful details in the rest of the story. I think the comments on here bear witness to the fact that this all happened, the group was not rude in any way, and mall security escorted them out and the police were there waiting for them. There are no other untruths in this story.

This coming from a reporter who just happens to be a steampunk fanatic..... interesting. ...

To thetrollguy. Crawl back under your bridge. You were not there and all you want to do is cause trouble.

JackWizafir.... go back to craigslist with your childish insults

Yep. You are definitely an internet troll. If you say you are not, prove that you were there at the mall. And what does craigslist have to do with anything?

Wow talk about a case blatant discrimination. Much respect to the Steampunks involved from a fellow Steampunk and a person who dresses up in costume and goes out in public quite often. Here's to exercising your right to free speech in public. An organized boycott of said mall seems to be in order.

As for the fascist owners of the mall and your fascist rent-a-cop thugs, GET A LIFE. Its obvious that you are insecure, as most "authorities" are that do things like this. Screw your policies they are a load of rubbish. You don't deserve anyone's respect acting in this manner. You are the real losers and riff raff that should be banned from the mall. I hope you lose tons business over this.

an angrygnome indeed!

I guess people have nothing better to do, that cry about being told to leave the mall due to being in costume. You broke the rules, you did not like being told to leave by security, now you are crying and trying to make a federal case out of it. Little to people realize that you have NO leg to stand on. First amendment rights to not come into play with this incident. Please go on with your lives and stop crying about petty things... you are only making YOURSELVES feel better with your rants. Your are coming across like spoiled children who were told no!!!

Posted by Douglas Thorpe

Richard there is no violation of civil rights unless the actor is the government or is acting as an agent of the government.

Since this is Commifornia there might well be a state code that proscribes ambiguous refusal of services by commercial establishments.

I consider myself to be a damn fine lawyer and I am always a champion for Constitutional protections but if this group were my clients I would:

  1. Tell them there is no legal cause of action and I am not taking your money because you will never win anything even IF we made it past summary judgment; and,

  2. A well delivered communication to the management (not security) is likely to result is a better result than pointless litigation.

Again, none of the rights protected by the Constitution apply to private actors (not the government). Private people are free to discriminate all they wish. Period.

So... Mercy Baron, being an unbiased reporter and not a Steampunk fanatic... please get your story straight and know all the facts before you post things that are not correct and in fact, are lies.

Thank you for all your comments around the recent Steampunks visit to our Center. As we were unaware of this group activity planned for our center, 30+ adults descending upon a specific area of the mall caused concern and thus misunderstanding.

We are sorry we overreacted. We have since reached out privately to members of the group to discuss a planned visit and offered a hosted carousel ride. Westfield welcomes all shoppers to visit our shopping centers and appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback with us.

Becky Smith Westfield District General Manager

someone should file a suit. this was blatant eviction w/o cause, and that's illegal. I suggest you find an attorney who is also Steampunk and ask for representation

The facts are pretty plain to see.

1) The steampunk group was discriminated against for reasons unknown by security guards that didn't know better.

2) Mall representatives played "CYA" (Cover Your Ass) by waiting so long to respond.

3) Finally, and of most utmost importance...thetruthguy is, in truth, an absolute and utter dick of a troll...who should seriously consider f*cking off.

I myself will stay away from this mall until I know amends have been made to the group of classy dressed steampunks.

-Mike Tabor...the REAL truth guy who uses his real name.

Mike Tabor....

I have held it in too long now.....

You and all your little whiny, self centered, bitch ass steampunks can all go F!%$ yourselves. You are all a F*%$king joke and full of shit! No one gives a shit about any of you! Steampunk is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen or heard of. Moronic, simple minded people playing dress up..... F%$#ing pathetic!!! Just like Mr. Tabor!

Congratulations! You are the thumbs-down winner of this year's prestigious TS award. And that's the truth, guy.

Actual award. May be picked up at Westfield Plaza Mall in Carlsbad.

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