NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — The four young people who turned themselves in to police for questioning Tuesday in connection with a prank that caused a rushed evacuation of a Newport Beach movie theater Saturday night have been released to their parents and were not arrested.
Some of the people in the theater that night were upset at the apparent lack of repercussions for the people they believe revved a leaf blower in the theater to replicate the sound of a chainsaw. The persons of interest range in age from 15 to 20. Three are male and one is female.
But KCAL9 Legal Analyst Steve Meister said he believes charges could be on the way. He said investigators will simply need time to build their case.
“I could see charges of conspiracy to disturb the peace and conspiracy to incite a riot, which is potentially a felony,” he said.
Kyndall Aldama, who says she hurt her foot and suffered bruises during the scramble to exit the theater, said she hopes the four people in question are charged with a crime.
“I had nightmares that I heard the sound of the chainsaw,” she said. “When you go into an enclosed space and say you have a weapon, you’re sending people into a panic for their lives.”
Aldama is one of three moviegoers who said they were injured as they fled the theater in haste during an 11 p.m. screening of the psychological thriller “The Gift” at the Edwards Big Newport 6 movie theater complex.
Police identified the four persons of interest, who turned themselves in yesterday, using security camera footage. Police said the group also revved a leaf blower earlier that night at an Irvine In-N-Out Burger. The investigation is ongoing.