St. Paul movie-makers stage crash, gunfight - but forget to call the cops
ST. PAUL - When St. Paul police were summoned to the city's North End on a call about an auto crash and a man with a gun Thursday, they found "four individuals in the area, some armed with handguns, running through a yard, taking cover behind a v...
ST. PAUL - When St. Paul police were summoned to the city's North End on a call about an auto crash and a man with a gun Thursday, they found "four individuals in the area, some armed with handguns, running through a yard, taking cover behind a vehicle while pointing the weapon," according to an incident report.
After the police drew their own weapons and ordered the individuals to get on the ground, they learned the people weren't shooting each other ... They were shooting a movie.
Early reviews of the film by police amount to two thumbs down.
Sgt. Paul Paulos, a police spokesman, said the four people on the scene were arrested for aggravated assault because the incident threatened residents in the area on the 300 block of West Maryland Avenue. They were David Otto Simanek, 47, Geoffrey Ross Brown, 32, Destiny Christina Soria, 27, and movie producer Timothy Terrell Christian, 31.
Paulos said the movie makers didn't have a permit and didn't notify police or residents of the 11 a.m. movie shoot, which apparently involved staging an accident between two cars and a gun fight.
Paulos said the movie makers had two replica pistols and an Airsoft pellet pistol that "looked very real." They also had a 35 mm camera. But they didn't take the necessary precautions, he said.
"It's not OK to run around with a gun visible making your own stage scene," Paulos said. "It could have been an angry scene."
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A woman driving by the scene said she saw a van up on the curb on Maryland Avenue and a small car in front of it "like to block it."
The woman, who asked not to be named, said at first she thought it was an accident. But then she saw a man jump out of the car with his arm outstretched holding a gun.
"I turned because I didn't want to drive into the gunfire," the woman said. "That was all I needed to see. Something was going on and I reported it to the police."
"I think it was bad how it scared the neighborhood," the woman said.
Paulos said he didn't know what the movie was about. The filmmakers were still in custody Friday morning, but were released later in the day after being questioned by police. The case has not yet been presented to the Ramsey County Attorney's office to consider charges.
When contacted Friday afternoon, Simanek said he is an actor, but he didn't want to talk about the incident or the movie.
"I'm not in the mood. I just got out of jail," he said.