Miami Beach 'Batman' scare suspect says he is victim
Group of men were threatening suspect, why he yelled out during screening
Miami Beach Police arrested David Escamillo early Tuesday morning after moviegoers said he made threats and caused mass-hysteria inside Theater 2 at the Regal movie theater on Lincoln Road.
Some witnesses thought he was a copycat Batman shooter.
On Thursday, after bonding out of jail on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, Escamillo claimed he was the one threatened. He said heightened sensitivity since the Colorado movie theater shooting has put people on edge.
“I just want to tell my side of the story,” he said.
Escamillo said he initially confronted a man sitting in front of him for sending text messages during the screening of Dark Knight Rises.
“And just ask him, I say, 'hey bro, can you please do that off the side? We're trying to watch a movie,’” Escamillo recalled.
A half hour later he said the man called on friends to pick a fight when Escamillo exited to use the restroom.
“That's when I got into a panic,” Escamillo said.
So Escamillo called on his friend in the theater for help.
“’These guys are threatening me. Let’s go. This is it, let's go,’” he recalled.
According to the police report, some moviegoers said they took that statement as a threat.
“What I meant by this is it: 'This is it. The movie's over. We gotta rock and roll,’” he said.
In the confusion, someone yelled “gun." That’s when people started running.
As Escamillo exited the theater, he got tackled.
Witness James Butler said he and his brother recognized him, and wanted to stop him.
“So we just run after him. My brother cracks him over the back with a broom,” Butler said Wednesday.
Escamillo said he felt unfairly attacked.
“They hit me with a broom. I've got bruises all over my body,” he said.
Escamillo was seen in home video being walked to a police car by an officer on scene. Dozens of Miami Beach police officers blocked Alton Road by the theater.
Escamillo admitted that he had been drinking, but denies that he tried to cause anyone harm. He said he never imagined that anyone would take his confrontation with a texting moviegoer as the possibility for a mass shooting.
“My only message to them is to say, look, you didn't know the back side of the story. So know you heard me. You either believe me or you don't,” Escamilo said.
No weapon was found at the theater.
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