'Dark Knight' panic in Miami a misunderstanding?

POSTED: Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 12:15pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 12:19pm

Movie night turned into a disaster for David Martin and his friends.

Miami Beach Police are accusing of inciting a riot inside.

“It's almost like you're in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and you don't believe its happening but it's happening, it makes me sick to my stomach,” he said Wednesday.

Police said that Martin was at the movie theater around midnight as Tuesday began when he got into an altercation with another moviegoer, left the theater, and returned wearing black gloves and screamed "This is it" from the back of the theater.

His actions set off a panic inside the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” and sent a hundred moviegoers fleeing for the exits. Martin admits to saying the words, but said he was looking for a friend.

“So I sat there and I looked and I finally found him and I said ‘Leon c'mon, please,’ I said ‘this is it,’ I was saying ‘this is it, the movie is over,’” said Martin.

(Police identified the 44-year-old as David Martin Escamillo earlier this week, but he said he doesn't use the latter last name anymore.)

He said he was sure that a lot of people heard him.

Martin said he was in a rush to get out, as he asked a man to stop texting during the movie, and the man followed him into the bathroom and then threatened to get Martin after the movie.

Martin claims that's the man who shouted the real inflammatory words.

“And I was coming back through and that's when I heard 'This guy's got a gun.' Now I don't know if any of the other witnesses heard that, but I'm telling you that's what I heard,” he said.

Moviegoers scrambled out in a frenzy, many of them very scared in light of last month's deadly shooting in Colorado.

Several men held Martin down waiting for police.

His date, Valda Dedieu, said she tried to tell officers about the confusion.

“Three of them put me down on the floor, held my neck, okay, and my daughter, they tripped my daughter and put her down on the floor,” she said.

Martin is facing charges from the incident, including disorderly conduct and inciting a riot.

“Look, the truth is the truth, I have nothing to hide. That's why I'm sitting here talking to you guys,” he said.  

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