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Man urinates on boy, sparks panic

Witness mistakenly believes man had a gun

No arrests were made after a confused bystander yelled “gun” in a crowded movie theater at Bridgeport Village on Sept. 20, causing a brief panic that shut down nearby stores.

About 100 people were watching the Hugh Jackman film “Prisoners”at Regal Bridgeport Village Stadium 18 in Tigard that evening when an elderly man began urinating on a 14-year-old boy sitting nearby.

The boy was watching the film with his family, and the boy’s father quickly confronted the man, getting into an altercation, which reportedly involved shouting and yelling.

According to Jim Wolf, a spokesman for the Tigard Police Department, one movie-goer didn’t know why the altercation began and thought the word “gun” was used and began shouting “gun” repeatedly in an attempt to warn those around her.

Alarmed patrons began fleeing the auditorium, spreading the word of a gunman in the theater.

Several nearby businesses went into lockdown, and Tigard Police, Tualatin Police and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to what they thought was an armed assailant, Wolf said.

“When the calls were coming in to dispatch, officers were responding based on what information was being shared,” Wolf said. “Our officers train for a host of different scenarios, and the officers responding at the theater were responding with the mindset that it was real.”

It didn’t take long, however, to figure out what happened, Wolf said. “We quickly learned that there was no weapon involved and fortunately it was resolved through other methods.”

Back in the theater, the boy’s father held the man down until police arrived.

The situation may have been a false alarm, but Wolf said the officers did the right thing.

“Our officers go through the training of these types of active-shooter situations, and we train regularly and extensively. Those threats have surfaced in the past. We have to be prepared,” he said.

According to police, alcohol may have contributed to the elderly man’s actions. Theater management said the man was trespassing, and police took the man home.

It is believed that the woman who shouted “gun” was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when she made the claim.

— Pamplin Media Group’s news partner KOIN Local 6

contributed to this report.

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