Man causes panic after ‘surveying’ movie crowd during ‘Joker’ showing at Long Beach Towne Center, police say

Police arrested a man acting suspiciously during a screening of the film “Joker” at the Long Beach Towne Center Saturday night, authorities said.

Police were originally dispatched to the Regal Edwards movie theater, at 7501 Carson Blvd., at about 9 p.m. regarding a “shots call” inside, according to Long Beach police spokeswoman Arantxa Chavarria.

Arriving officers later found out that moviegoers watching the weekend premiere of “Joker” self-evacuated because of a “suspicious subject inside,” Chavarria said.

“The preliminary investigation revealed that during the presentation of the ‘Joker’ movie, a male adult subject walked to the front of the theatre while wearing a backpack,” Chavarria said. “As the subject was surveying the crowd, the patrons were fearful he was in possession of a weapon and ran out of the theatre.”

The man was detained without incident. He was not found to be in possession of any weapons but he was later taken into custody and booked on an outstanding warrant, officials said.

Violent Crimes detectives will be assisting in the investigation.

This is the second-“Joker” film-related incident to happen in the region this weekend. A Huntington Beach movie theater closed early Thursday after receiving a credible threat associated with the film, according to ABC 7.

The news outlet reported that some theaters are increasing security nationwide following concerns of threats on social media.

‪This evening the #LBPD received calls reporting shots coming from inside the Edwards theater. ‬‪Officers were on…

Posted by Long Beach Police Department (CA) on Sunday, October 6, 2019

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.
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