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Glendora student film nearly turns tragic

August 2, 2013 2:22:33 PM PDT
A robbery scene shot by student filmmakers nearly turned tragic in a Glendora coffee shop when police officers rushed in with guns drawn Thursday.

The students were filming a fake robbery with fake guns, and the actors were wearing black gloves, hoodies and bandanas over their faces. But bystanders and police thought it was the real thing.

"Classic Coffee on Glendora Avenue is getting robbed with two guys with masks at gunpoint," one 911 caller says.

The 911 call sent a team of officers to the Classic Coffee shop fully expecting to come upon a robbery in action. A sergeant and two officers entered the business and saw two masked men carrying guns.

"Drop the gun! Drop it! Drop it! Drop it!" an officer is heard shouting.

One of the men put down his weapon, but the other did not. Stunned, the man stood there with the fake gun in his hand.

"This was just milliseconds away from a tragedy," said Capt. Tim Staab of the Glendora Police Department.

The backup officer was poised to shoot at any the sign of any movement.

"He was coming off the trigger guard going on to the trigger, and a horrible tragedy certainly would have occurred," Staab said.

Before that happened, an officer stepped in with a bold move, reaching for the man's gun and stripping it away from him.

"Get down on the ground right now," the officer says.

And then moments later, the sergeant saw a camera and asked, "What are you guys doing?"

They told him they were shooting a short film.

The group of college students had the permission of the coffee shop owner to film at the location but did not get a permit from the city and had no signs alerting the public that a film was being shot. So when two of them walked in carrying painted air soft guns, the danger looked very real to the public.

The students were not charged by police, who were just glad this story had a happy ending.


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