Deputies: Hundreds of teens storm Ocoee theater

Middle, high school students try to get into theater free

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OCOEE, Fla. – There was a chaotic scene at an Ocoee movie theater when hundreds of teens stormed the building, trying to get in for free, according to deputies.

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The incident happened Saturday night at the AMC Theater at the West Oaks Mall.


Orange County sheriff's investigators said up to 900 middle and high school students tried storming the theater.  Deputies said about 200 students were able to get inside the building before the security gates were closed.

"(It's) a big concern to us that are juveniles are doing this at such an early age," said Orange County Sheriff's Office Lt. Paul Hopkins.

Investigators said as the crowd was being taken from the area, several fights broke out in the parking lot.

Ocoee police on Monday said officers discovered about 300 teens causing a disturbance.  Officers dispersed the crowd after many of them stormed the theater.  One person was arrested at the theater on charges of battery and resisting arrest.

Gunfire was also reported and someone was robbed at gunpoint, but Ocoee police said on Monday that the shots turned out to be firecrackers.  Police also said it wasn't believed that the robbery was connected to the theater incident.  Three teens were arrested on allegations of stealing cellphones from two other teens at a nearby location, police said.

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"Everybody just started scattering, ducking underneath the seats," said moviegoer Kenny Johnson. "It was a scary moment."

"These are middle to high school kids who have guns, who are shooting guns, are robbing people, driving stolen cars and they have drugs in their cars," Hopkins said.

Detectives told Local 6 on Monday that they're still trying to figure out who planned the storming of the theater. Police said they're looking into whether it was planned via social media, but they would not discuss any specifics.

The theater announced Monday that anyone under the age of 17 must now be accompanied by an adult after 9 p.m.

Police said it's doubtful any arrests would be made in the incident because they wouldn't be able to prove who had purchased a movie ticket.

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No one was seriously hurt.

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