SWAT call out on movie set


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ProficientRifleman
June 20, 2006, 10:21 AM
This is from the Greeley Tribune.

Karen Romer
June 19, 2006

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In a bizarre twist of events, what should have been a routine film shoot turned into a real-life thriller.

Members of a film crew got the shock of their lives Saturday when a Larimer County SWAT team surrounded the crew and ordered everyone on their knees, hands behind their heads.

The crew from Twelve Monkeys Dancing Films, a Denver-based independent film company, was shooting a scene from their current low-budget feature, "Different Kinds," in the North Pines campground just west of Loveland.

In the scene, Chris Borden, the lead actor, plays the role of Jared, who is holding a girl hostage and pistol whips a good samaritan who tries to intervene.

Borden surmises that someone passing through the park thought there was a real hostage situation, and in a panic, called the police.

The crew had a park permit and had been shooting the movie for several hours when the SWAT team moved in.

"One of the actor's faces goes completely white and we all turn around and we're all surrounded by SWAT," Borden said.

The entire crew was ordered to drop to their knees with M-16 rifles pointed at their backs and then were forced to lay on the ground for 15 to 20 minutes. Several crew members tried to explain that they were just filming a movie, but were ordered by the SWAT team to shut up.

"They told me they were going to send rounds my way," said Borden who was incredulous about the whole incident.

They took down our names, weights, heights and license plate numbers and took mug shots of everyone, Borden said.

The SWAT team even brought out an orange briefcase to test the fake blood -- corn syrup -- on the car, Borden said.

After 30 minutes, the crew was uncuffed, but they were given no explanation by the SWAT team why they had been detained.

Borden could probably write the whole thing off as being absurd if he hadn't been issued a citation for disorderly conduct. The film's director, Eileen Agosta, was issued a citation for accessory to disorderly conduct.

"The thing that upsets me the most is that I've had a clean record all of my life," Borden said. "It would be a shame to have this on my record."

Borden is scheduled to appear Aug. 28 in the Larimer County Courthouse in Fort Collins.

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rmgill
June 20, 2006, 10:30 AM
Naturally, charges HAD to be filed against someone. :scrutiny:

Fly320s
June 20, 2006, 10:36 AM
I wonder if there were cameras and lighting equipment on the set. If so, that could be considered a clue.

The Real Hawkeye
June 20, 2006, 10:37 AM
This is the problem with a militarized police force. In the old days, a couple of squad cars would have responded, approached, perhaps with hands on the their holstered weapons, and asked some questions. Once the reality of the situation was determined, they'd have bid them a good afternoon, and that would have been the end of it, but because we have SWAT teams raring for some action, we have to send them in whenever there's any question of guns involved, and if you send them in, everybody has to be on the ground, nose in the dirt, and someone has to get charged with something. It's par for the course in a police state.

ProficientRifleman
June 20, 2006, 10:37 AM
That was the point of my post. Now, I wasn't there...but whatcha wanna bet someone on the set made a remark like "This was rediculous...we're making a movie."

Handcuffed and prone while they bring out a mobile lab and test corn syrup?

But hey, someone HAD to be charged with SOMETHING!

ConstitutionCowboy
June 20, 2006, 10:52 AM
...to cover their butts, most likely.

In such a scenario, the SWAT team and anyone who sent the SWAT team could be charged with false arrest, harassment, and probably a hundred other rights violations. The permit issuing authority could be charged as well. Wouldn't it be prudent to inform law enforcement that a movie was being filmed and that a "Park Permit" had been issued? Seems to me, that should have been in the "Shift Briefing", or what ever you call it when the cops show up for work and the "sarge" tells them what's going on.

File this in the "Bureaucrat SNAFU" file.

Woody

One should only need a gun to protect one's self and family, not a squad of police and an army of lawyers!

Sindawe
June 20, 2006, 11:16 AM
Dang, ProficientRifleman beat me to posting. :neener:

Responding to a call about a possible bad situation in a park is well and good. Exactly the kind of thing that is part of a cop's job. Writing up a citation as CYA when you've made a fool of yourselves is not.

Ira Aten
June 20, 2006, 11:22 AM
I'm suprized the excuse wasn't "....Well, a lot of criminals film their murders, and naturally we thought the film crew was an elite team of serial killers!"

Henry Bowman
June 20, 2006, 11:22 AM
Naturally, charges HAD to be filed against someone. There is also at least half a chance that Borden chose to be a disorderly @$$.

P99waltherP99
June 20, 2006, 11:23 AM
Im glad that the actors were not doing a shootout scene or anything like that becuase that would have been verry messy. They probabaly wouldnt need any fake blood either after what would have happened.

This is a typical thing i almost always expect from law enforcement. OVER REACTION! I agree that there are times when "excessive force is necessary," but a lot of times you will see things like this.....


I was at the airport, this old guy had one of those WW2 hats on and could hardly walk. His wife was with him and they both got "randomly searched."
They made him hold out his hands for a long time, and it was clear that this 85+ year old man was having trouble doing that and scolded him about not being able to stand still. ***?!!!!?!?!?!?!?!

As for random checks, I have always been "RANDOMLY SELECTED" for a screening even though I was able to produce dog tags and a military ID card.

I guess in a police state they will always tell you that you must sacrifice a little privacy and freedom for security. It may be ok at this point, but what if it gets worse..........

buzz_knox
June 20, 2006, 11:27 AM
There is also at least half a chance that Borden chose to be a disorderly @$$.

By the stage he would have had the opportunity to be disorderly, the proper charge would have been resisting arrest/assaulting a police officer.

Disorderly conduct is like public intoxication: a catch all phrase used when nothing else would work but the cop wants to send you a message.

Justin
June 20, 2006, 11:39 AM
FWIW, Denver has a rather active independent film culture.

From the look of their website (http://www.tmdfilms.com/) they shoot on video. There are location stills from this production here. (http://www.tmdfilms.com/DKPhotos.htm)

Indie digital film making is yet another example of good old Yankee ingenuity.

NineseveN
June 20, 2006, 11:42 AM
You can't blame the police for responding, they did as they should have there.

You can't blame them for sending in the special tactics team, it was reportedly a hostage situation.

You can't blame them for not knowing it was a movie set, remember, we're talking a small independent movie set, which doesn't necessarily look as much like a movie set as most would think...it could have appeared that the hostage taker was being filmed with a personal digital camera and some industrial work lights by accomplices of his (perhaps for ransom or whatever).

However, within 5 seconds of the suspects claiming that they were shooting a movie, and immediately after they found that the so-called "gun" was rubber, plastic or a prop and that the group had a permit to film there, don't you think that should have given them a clue?

If they were in compliance with the permit to film there, no charges should have been filed and the cops should have apologized instead of being jerks about it. Now, there are some things that we don't know about the incident specifically, so we're all kinda speculating...but on the surface, it looks like it was bad call to file charges...they should have apologized and went on their way.

Oldtimer
June 20, 2006, 12:05 PM
HMM! I can sort of "read between the lines" on this incident! Consider the FACTS that this was NOT a major movie production company, but an "independent", and it was a "low budget" film. No "big name" actors? "Low budget", as in filming with ordinary video cameras? They probably didn't have the "usual" truck/trailer movie production vehicles, no "star" trailers, no catering trucks, and PROBABLY not any off-duty or retired police officers working as "security agents"! Their "low budget" probably consisted of MAYBE getting all of the necessary permits, but MOST LIKELY they failed to notify the local police agency of their "location shoot". Sort of a big "OOPS!" on both sides of this!

Many years ago, while I was on-duty, my partner and I happened upon a "location" movie shoot that was located VERY close to a high crime rate, gang- and drug-infested area within our assigned patrol region. The spot was almost out of view, but the big truck/trailers, catering trucks, and posted off-duty or retired police officers providing security were CLEARLY noticeable. "Any big names in this movie?", my partner asked one of the posted off-duty officers. "Oh, just Arnold!", he replied.
Yep, there was Arnold Schwarzenegger, as a Russian police detective in the movie "Red Heat"! When the director stopped the action and everyone took a break, we managed to get up to where Arnold was, and shook his hand. "I respect you men! My father was a police officer!", he politely exclaimed.

UH, that movie production company had ALL of the necessary permits for their location shoot, had spent the money on hiring "security", AND had called the police station to let them know that there would be some "realistic" shooting sequences.

Cancel SWAT!

YellowLab
June 20, 2006, 12:09 PM
NineSeven - the LEO's simply cannot do no wrong in your book, eh? It would have taken all of 5 seconds of OBSERVATION to gather what was going on. The crew had permits to be in the park, they did everything legally.

But the coppers get to play cowboy and get thier adreniline rush.

Since when did officer saftey override CITIZENS saftey? Then they hand out a summonds? The SWAT team is a bunch of retards. Evidently they checked thier common sense at the door.

NineseveN
June 20, 2006, 12:13 PM
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_4785352,00.html

For filmmakers, 'shooting' could have been real
STORY TOOLS
Email this story | Print By Ivan Moreno, Rocky Mountain News
June 19, 2006
With a sheriff's deputy pointing a rifle at him as he got ready to perform his next scene, Chris Borden knew he wasn't in the land of make-believe anymore.
"It took a little while for me to realize I could've died for my art," the 25-year-old said, recalling how deputies handcuffed crew members of Different Kinds, a low-budget movie in which Borden plays "a guy who is kind of on the emotional edge," he said.

It was about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, in an isolated area in a park near Carter Lake, when Larimer County sheriff's deputies responded to a call of a hostage situation, not knowing that what was playing out was a movie.

In the scene the crew was filming Saturday, Borden pistol-whips a man trying to rescue a woman Borden had kidnapped.

Before director Eileen Agosta could yell "action" to do another take, Borden said a crew member asked, "Is that a cop in the woods?"

Deputies responded to the park after a ranger called, said Larimer County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Eloise Campanella.

Agosta, 24, said the deputies told them they were there because they had heard someone had been taken hostage.

That's when Borden said he and his fellow cast members discovered they were surrounded by guns, and Borden was the deputies' prime suspect.

"Yep," Borden said. "They had me in the line of fire."

Agosta and Borden said the deputies handcuffed the seven crew members - "Even the person who was supposedly the hostage," Borden said - despite their efforts to explain they were just shooting a movie.

"And they then singled me out because, by their own admission, they'd been watching us," Borden said.

Which is why he doesn't understand how deputies didn't notice the filming equipment and that the cast was on friendly terms, as evidenced by how Borden helped the man he hit with a pistol to stand after the scene.

"They told me I looked like I didn't care if I got shot because I had a criminal demeanor," Borden said.

Borden said deputies told him the only reason they didn't shoot him was because they saw a cameraman.

"That was the only thing that prevented them from blowing me away," he said.

In hindsight, Agosta said she understands why deputies reacted the way they did. After all, the gun and the wounds on actors - obviously fake to her - looked real to deputies, she said.

"I guess I didn't realize how bad it looked," she said.

When deputies took the handcuffs off cast members, Borden said they took their film and the $20 fake gun he used in the scene, and ticketed him for disorderly conduct. Agosta was cited for accessory to disorderly conduct, Borden said.

They're set to appear in court on Aug. 28.

"We're considering having the whole cast show up to say, 'Hey, we were filming a movie,' " Borden said.

NineseveN
June 20, 2006, 12:15 PM
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/9391306/detail.html

Crew Filming Hostage Scene Gets Taken Down By SWAT Team
Lead Actor Cited For Disorderly Conduct

POSTED: 9:41 am MDT June 19, 2006
UPDATED: 6:42 am MDT June 20, 2006

Email This Story | Print This Story

Those who plan to film a hostage scene might want to make it obvious that it's a simulation and not the real deal.

That may the lesson that an independent film crew learned over the weekend after Larimer County SWAT officers swarmed them during a shoot for a low-budget feature movie.

Members of the Twelve Monkeys Dancing Films were at a campground near Carter Lake Saturday, shooting a scene where the lead actor takes a girl hostage and beats up on a good Samaritan who tries to intervene.

"It happened very suddenly after that. We heard, 'Freeze,'"said director Eileen Agosta.


They were in the middle of the scene when a team of Larimer County sheriff's deputies ran over, shouting orders to get on the ground, pointing M-16 semiautomatic rifles at the crew, actor Chris Borden said.

"They kept telling me the whole time, 'We're gonna shoot you. We're gonna shoot you. We're gonna send rounds your way,'" Borden said.

Borden said that they were cuffed and held on the ground until the situation was sorted out. Even though crew members tried to explain to the SWAT team that this was for a movie, the officers told them to shut up while they interviewed the "victims." Officers also tested the fake blood that was on the stunt car.

Borden said after about 30 minutes, the crew was released.

Borden said he thinks that a person who drove by the North Fork campground near Loveland saw the scene and called authorities. He said it would have been funny except for the fact that he was issued a citation for disorderly conduct. Agosta was also cited for being an accessory to disorderly conduct. Both are due in court in August.

"It was complete ignorance on my part," said Agosta. "I honestly thought you could tell what we were doing ... I wouldn't have chosen a state park at 3:30 (p.m.) on Saturday if I was going to hurt somebody."

"It is certainly not beyond belief these days that individuals do videotape crimes as they commit them," said Maj. Jeff Smith of Larimer County Sheriff's Department. "Having a video camera there did not necessarily mean there was not threat."

The crew said they had a park permit and had been filming for several hours when the SWAT team arrived. Their footage was confiscated by the Larimer County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies say the crew did not have a commercial permit to be shooting in the park and never alerted authorities about the filming.

NineseveN
June 20, 2006, 12:19 PM
Oldtimer had it, watch the video at that last link, they didn't have ther right permits. But still, was there really a need to cite them? I don't believe so.

ProficientRifleman
June 20, 2006, 12:25 PM
"And they then singled me out because, by their own admission, they'd been watching us," Borden said.

I wonder how long they had "watched".

"They told me I looked like I didn't care if I got shot because I had a criminal demeanor," Borden said.

He probably had beady eyes and a pointy head too...

Borden said deputies told him the only reason they didn't shoot him was because they saw a cameraman.

"That was the only thing that prevented them from blowing me away," he said.

hmmmmm...interesting They caw the cameraman and that prevented them from shooting.

When deputies took the handcuffs off cast members, Borden said they took their film and the $20 fake gun he used in the scene, and ticketed him for disorderly conduct. Agosta was cited for accessory to disorderly conduct, Borden said.

Ain't it funny how often it happens, that when SWAT guys confiscate film from a scene of one of their "engagements", the film goes missing?

By the way, what is accessory to disorderly conduct? If I was throwing water baloons at passing cars, that would be disorderly conduct. If I had a friend handing me the water baloons before I threw them, would that make him and accessory? Why wouldn't he be charged with disorderly conduct also? Maybe the acessory was just offering moral support. I guess we'll see in court.

Husker1911
June 20, 2006, 12:31 PM
Plenty of blame to pass all around on this one. Note to movie director: Notify local law enforcement that you're conducting a movie shoot.

Quote: Borden said deputies told him the only reason they didn't shoot him was because they saw a cameraman.
"That was the only thing that prevented them from blowing me away," he said.

If this is true, the SWAT team needs to assess their rules of engagement. Were these guys at Waco, too?

NineseveN
June 20, 2006, 12:34 PM
NineSeven - the LEO's simply cannot do no wrong in your book, eh?

Lol, youíre barking up the wrong tree. Few people on this board are as justifiably critical of the police as I amÖlook around, heck, ask Jeff White, Iím sure heíd like to slap me sometimes. ;)

It would have taken all of 5 seconds of OBSERVATION to gather what was going on. The crew had permits to be in the park, they did everything legally.

They had a permit to be in the park, they did not alert authorities or have a commercial permit to do the filming, as they are required to legally.


But the coppers get to play cowboy and get thier adreniline rush.

I donít think thatís a fair statement, based on what we know now from the articles and the video, they responded as they should for a call to a hostage situation. You donít know a movie prop gun is a dummy gun until you examine it. The low budget films donít have trailers and huge crews. Iíve seen low budget sets before, they donít exactly look like movie sets at all. It very well could have been a gang thing, or some group of twisted kids filming a crime in progress (which is happening more and more these days).


Since when did officer saftey override CITIZENS saftey?

In my opinion, this is indeed a huge problem, but it doesnít apply to this specific case.

Then they hand out a summonds?

I agree, that wasnít the best course of action.


The SWAT team is a bunch of retards. Evidently they checked thier common sense at the door.

Not cool.

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