Wikipedia user Maximilian Reininghaus: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Klingon-weapons.jpg

There's an old Klingon proverb that goes "Never leave without your bat'leth," the sword of honor wielded by the warrior race.

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Local TV station KREM reports a Spokane, Wash., man is accused of attacking his next-door neighbor with a replica of the curved sword from the Star Trek TV show. Perhaps he should have left without his bat-leth.

Carlo Morris Cerutti, 50, was charged with assault after allegedly swinging at his neighbor with the sword in a dispute over garbage—and we don't mean Star Trek: Into Darkness.

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Cerutti's wife, Joyce, told KREM their neighbor was using their trash can, so she brought a bag of the trash back over to his house. That's when she said the unidentified neighbor threw the garbage at her, and began spreading the garbage over their yard.

Accounts differ at this point. The neighbor claims Cerutti came out of the house and attacked him with the bat'leth, which the neighbor managed to block and grab away. Joyce Cerutti claims her husband only took the sword down from its place on the wall after the neighbor forced his way into their home.

Who's telling the truth? Difficult to tell, but if there's one thing the dispute does prove, it's that fans should leave Klingon weapons to the Klingons. There are a (surprising?) number of instances of humans attempting to wield Klingon swords:

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  • Two Denver 7-Eleven convenience stores were robbed in February 2009 by a man shown on closed-circuit surveillance cameras threatening cashiers with a bat'leth.
  • Earlier this year, the TSA confiscated this weapon at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico from a passenger's carry-on bag. It appears to be a modern, tactical take on the traditional bat'leth design.

The moral of the story is unless you're on the bridge of a battlecruiser, keep your bat'leth in a display case or somewhere else where it's not threatening anyone. Worf may tell you otherwise, but today is not a good day to die.