While many believed there was possibility of heated protests at the Minnesota State Capitol this past week, few were prepared for the insurrection of right-wing extremists at Nickelodeon Universe inside the Mall of America.
“We realized something was off when a crowd started forming outside of the log ride,” said Mitchell Morris, a security specialist with the Mall of America. “It seemed peaceful enough, but once they saw Dora the Explorer inside the park, they just sort of lost it.”
Soon the protestors began pushing their way inside the park, becoming physical with Nickelodeon Universe employees and costume-wearing characters who attempted to contain the mob.
“The crowd started pushing Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants, and at least one Ninja Turtle was struck from behind,” Morris continues. “But the worst was when Chase the police dog from Paw Patrol showed up.”
Though many in the crowd were wearing pro-law enforcement and Blue Lives Matter apparel, social media postings showed Chase being violently slammed into the airbrush t-shirt stand, where he was punched, kicked and spit on by the increasingly hostile crowd.
Kristi Turner of Blaine was one of the protestors involved in the riot, and released an Instagram post where she provided some rationale behind the ugly scene.
“Tim Walz will let our kids go to school and let our restaurants operate at 50 percent capacity, but I can’t ride the Guppy Bubler?” Turner yells into the camera, while another protestor can be seen attempting to steal an entire Dippin’ Dots cart in the background.
“If the libs are going to steal the presidency, then we’re going to steal all of the stuffed Avengers toys out of this claw machine!” Turner screams in another video, oblivious to the fact that her entire left breast is exposed. “And it’s Camp Fuckin’ Snoopy!” yells someone else just off camera.
A spokesperson for Nickelodeon Universe says that their security force was unprepared for such a swift and hostile attack.
“Most of our security guards are only around 5-and-a-half feet and weigh upwards of 325 pounds,” the spokesperson shared via email. “Anything beyond harassing teenage girls outside of Forever 21 is way beyond their pay grade. We’re lucky things didn’t get worse.”
As of yesterday, the park continues to be closed for visitors as officials are still deciding how to best handle the fallout before reopening, with many calling for an internal investigation.
“I don’t want to speak badly of anyone, but all of us kind of thought Squidward and the Backyardigans had some ties to the Proud Boys,” Morris says. “I didn’t see them open the gates, but I definitely didn’t see them trying to defend Diego from Go Diego Go either.”
• Patrick Strait, Terminal Times