The frightening incident occurred on a Saturday night when the movie theater was occupied by numerous customers. The Edgewater Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office got reports of a bomb and gunshots fired at the Edgewater Multiplex Cinemas in Edgewater, New Jersey.
A number of people at the movie theater posted comments about the bomb scare on social media. One moviegoer’s Twitter account mentioned “mass panic” that prompted several customers to begin running and screaming.
Authorities later confirmed that the more detailed reports about a bomb threat and gunfire were not true.
When police officers showed up at the scene around 9:30 p.m., they immediately evacuated the theater.
The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office searched throughout the movie theater; however, no explosives were found.
Law enforcement now believes that the emergency calls were made in response to someone falling inside the movie theater. Apparently, the sound of the fall was mistaken for the sound of a gunshot, resulting in several calls to local police and the subsequent emergency evacuation.
Although this bomb threat ended up being false, it could have led to serious consequences if it had turned out to be true. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3, anyone who threatens to commit a violent crime with the purpose to cause evacuation of a building can face third degree terroristic threats charges. A conviction for making terroristic threats could result in a sentence of 3-5 years in NJ State Prison.
For more information about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “False Bomb, Shooting Reports Prompt Evacuation at Edgewater Theater.”