Leaf Blower 'Prank' Causes Theater Stampede
Suspects revved what people thought was chainsaw during showing of The Gift
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2015 5:33 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – California police are looking for two or three males who terrified moviegoers during a showing of The Gift in Newport Beach on Saturday. At least one man in Edwards Big Newport 6 opened an emergency exit to let in another man carrying what viewers thought was a chainsaw. He hoisted it above his head, yelled and revved it, before the suspects escaped, police tell the Los Angeles Times.

The machine turned out to be a leaf blower, but "it appears they were trying to lead people to believe there was a weapon," an investigator says. Given recent theater shootings, this is "not something we consider just a minor prank." CBS Los Angeles reports people were trampled as moviegoers fled; three people suffered minor injuries.