Charges were filed Thursday against one of the teens accused of sneaking into a Newport Beach movie theater through an emergency exit, firing up a leafblower in the darkness and scaring the beejesus out of moviegoers watching a thriller that Aug. 8 night.
Colin Hunter Davis, 18, of Newport Beach, is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 18 on three misdemeanor counts of participating in a rout and unlawful assembly, disturbing the peace, and trespassing to injure property, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA).
Currently out of custody, Davis could get up to a year in Orange County Jail if he is convicted of all counts, the OCDA notes.
In a perfect world he'd lose all student I.D. discount privileges for future movie tickets as well.
If he's guilty, of course.
On the night of Aug. 8, Davis allegedly entered Edwards Big Newport 6 at Newport Center without paying admission by opening the emergency exit door of a theater showing the Fatal Attractionesque flick The Gift starring Jason Bateman. I haven't seen it either, but I do appreciate Michael Bluth stepping out of his comedy comfort zone from time to time.
But I digress …
Davis "is accused of participating in an unlawful assembly which prompted a crowd of moviegoers to scream and scatter in fear of the noise from a leaf blower," the OCDA states in an arraignment bulletin. "Several theater patrons suffered minor injuries including a broken toe and pain from being knocked to the ground."
It was particularly unnerving because police killed a gunman at a movie theater in a Nashville, Tenn., suburb just three days before and a couple weeks before that two people were killed and nine were injured when a gunman opened fire in a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Not that anyone believes the teens involved in the Newport Beach incident were out for blood; the working theory is they wanted to create video content for social media. And yet it was surveillance video released to the public that led to them turning themselves in. The irony, no?
Other than explaining the Newport Beach Police Department investigated the case, Deputy District Attorney Angela Hong of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting it, and arraignment is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 18 in Department H-7 of the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, the OCDA says it will have no further comment on the case.
That would presumably include what happened to the other teens who allegedly participated in the prank. A 16-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy also turned themselves in, but because they are juveniles the disposition of any cases against them would not be made available to the public.
As for charges stemming from the similar incident involving the same suspects at an Irvine fast-food restaurant before they got to Newport … hmmm.