Teen Charged After Newport Beach Movie Theater Scare Sends Patrons Fleeing

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The Edwards Big Newport 6 theater is pictured. (Credit: Google Maps)

Two months after the loud sound of a leaf blower rang through a Newport Beach movie theater, prompting some patrons to run for safety because they thought a shooting was underway, an 18-year-old man was charged Thursday in connection to the incident.

Colin Hunter Davis was charged with “three misdemeanor counts of participating in a rout and unlawful assembly, disturbing the peace and trespassing to injure property,” an Orange County District Attorney’s Office news release stated.

During the Aug. 8 incident, Davis allegedly entered the Edwards Big Newport 6 theater without paying, opened an emergency exit door to the screening of a “thriller” movie and turned on a leaf blower, the news release stated.

The sound of the leaf blower then prompted moviegoers to flee the theater, causing several to suffer minor injuries, which included a broken toe.

“All I could think of was James Holmes and the Aurora, Colorado, movie shooting … My boyfriend and I believed that this was a person with a weapon — probably a gun — and fully expected shooting to start at any moment,” witness Katrina Wolfe wrote in an email to KTLA following the incident.

Others said patrons were “running for their lives,” and one woman said her leg was trampled.

Days afterward, surveillance photos of four people linked to the incident were released by police and all were identified and questioned. It was not known if Davis was among the four.

Davis was scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 18 in Department H-J at the Newport Justice Center.