Film Student’s Fake Gun Prompts Arrest During Movie Shoot at Beach

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A fake gun that has been altered for use as a movie prop appeared a little too realistic for sheriff’s deputies — and the Malibu beachgoers who saw it this week.


This fake gun that had its orange safety tip removed prompted an arrest in Malibu on Jan. 9, 2014. (Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

After a man was reported “waving a handgun near other people” by Point Dume Nature Preserve in Malibu (map) on Thursday morning, authorities responded in force.

Park rangers, deputies and a sheriff’s helicopter began searching for the gunman in nearby cliffs, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Friday afternoon.

“Deputies soon saw a suspect pointing a handgun at the head of a young woman who had her hands raised in the air at Little Dume Beach,” the news release stated. “A person nearby was holding a camera and filming them.”

The seven people who were detained said they were college students shooting a film for school, but they did not have a permit and had not given notice to law enforcement, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

There were “no signs indicating it was a film project and for the public not to be concerned,” the news release stated.

And the replica handgun had its telltale orange tip — designed to reveal it as a fake — removed, authorities said.

A 20-year old film student from Valencia was arrested on suspicion of removing the safety tip from an imitation firearm, a misdemeanor.

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