Lucas French, Burger King swordfighter, arrested in South Dakota

Lucas French, the greatest sword fighter in Bemidji.

Lucas French, the greatest sword fighter in Bemidji.

Lucas French, a manager at a Burger King in Bemidji, got into an argument with a coworker after a long night of drinking. So, they settled their disagreements like men -- well, like men in the 13th century.

Right there in the coworker's living room, with French's 10-year-old son watching, they had a sword fight.

French was arrested July 12 on a number of charges: Malicious punishment of a child, fourth-degree assault of a police officer, and, for his swordplay, reckless handling of a dangerous weapon. He skipped down before his court date, but has resurfaced in Brookings, South Dakota.

Now, he's likely on his way back, where he might finally face justice, and learn that sword fighting cuts both ways.


French, 28, punched his coworker, Paul Whaley, several times in the face in their drunken brawl. During the melee, a case that held Whaley's swords fell over, so French did the logical thing, according to the complaint from the Beltrami County Attorney's office:

"Lucas French had then seized one of the swords and struck down at Whaley as if chopping with an ax at least two times. Whaley, for his part, had seized another of the swords, and managed to parry French's blows."

Sword fight! This is not how they teach conflict resolution in the Burger King manual.

If that was some sort of far-reaching attempt at manhood, what happened next  was pretty pathetic. When French's 10-year-old kid, who'd watched the whole thing, said he was afraid to ride his bike home in the dark, French hit him with the same sword, cutting the boy's arm. Then French told his son he was going to go back into Whaley's house and cut his head off.

It actually gets worse. Once cops had French arrested and in the back of the squad car, he accused them of being racist, and broke open a cut on his own forehead by slamming his head around the inside of the car.

Finally, as French was being posed for a photo of his bleeding head, he spit into a cop's face, leading to his fourth-degree assault against a police officer charge.

French, along with a woman and two children, was found last Thursday in South Dakota, where Minnesota authorities had been warned he might turn up. French was held by the Brookings County Sheriff's Office, which told City Pages he was taken away this morning. The Beltrami County Jail said French was not in custody there, and could not confirm whether he was in transit.

This leaves a bit of mystery as to French's future. Wait, wait how does Zorro end? Do they catch him, or does he get away?