NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Star Wars fans were forced out of a movie theater in New Jersey Friday, and a man was later charged with making hoax bomb threats at the theater twice this week.
AMC Freehold Metroplex 14 was briefly evacuated Friday during a screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
One moviegoer tweeted that they were allowed back inside and that the theater was offering two new showings to accommodate fans.
A series of notes were discovered inside the men’s room of the theater around 11:30 a.m. Friday containing threats to the theater. The theater was evacuated and no credible threat or explosives were discovered on scene. The theater was reopened about two hours and 15 minutes later.
Late Friday, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office investigators charged Jesse Carroll, 22, of Middletown, with two counts of second-degree public false alarm. He was ordered held on $200,000 bail by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Honora O’Brien Kilgallen.
Carroll was also charged in another bomb threat at the same theater on Monday.
Just before 5 p.m. Monday, an employee at the AMC Theatres complex found a note in the men’s restroom, saying there were multiple bombs in multiple theaters that would detonate at a specific time, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office.
In the Monday and Friday incidents, the threats found in the men’s room were either directed at theater management or referred specifically to threats of bombs inside the theater, prosecutors said. One note on Friday afternoon read: “I’m coming for blood; 4pm bomb, 6pm empty mag in guests,” prosecutors said.
During both incidents, police told people to avoid the area.
One woman tweeted that a bomb threat was called into the theater during the movie which was “getting good.”
Prosecutors decried Carroll’s alleged conduct.
“Making bomb threats in a movie theater is nothing short of domestic terrorism. Thankfully for everyone involved this was a hoax. We have wasted too much time, money and resources with these dangerous and disruptive threats. We will continue to fully respond to every threat to protect our citizens, but we are also going to react with the full force of the law every time threats turn out to be hoaxes,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a news release.
The much-anticipated “Star Wars” movie kicked off back-to-back showings in New York City for its opening weekend.
The new installment has already smashed ticket records with a whopping $100 million in pre-sales.