Actors Nearly Shot by Real Cops While Filming Stickup Scene; Moviemaker Says His Bad


GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBS/AP) Actors playing robbers came perilously close to getting shot by real-life police officers, who thought a movie scene being filmed on New York's Long Island was an actual armed robbery in progress.

Filmmaker Fred Carpenter was "shooting" inside a convenience store in Bellmore, N.Y., on Tuesday morning, in a scene in which a gunman takes hostages. A passerby apparently thought it was the real deal and called police.

"All of a sudden I'm directing and 15 police officers come in," Carpenter said. "And for a moment I'm thinking it's part of the movie and then I said, wait a minute, I wrote the movie and this wasn't in the film. And it was like, insanity."

The confrontation ended peacefully when officers ordered an actor playing a gunman to drop his weapon. Nobody was injured, but police said the outcome could have been tragic.

"The officer went inside, the actor - it turned out to be - still had the gun in his hand," said Detective Mike Bitzko, a Nassau County police spokesman.

Because he was filming on private property inside the store, officials and Carpenter said he was not required to obtain a county film permit, but Bitzko said police need to be notified about scenes involving gunplay.

"I made the mistake," Fred Carpenter told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I was supposed to tell the local police precinct what we were doing."

Carpenter had praise for the police response and noted his film, "Jesse" is about a fictional Nassau County police detective named Jessica Weinstein who investigates the death of her brother. One of the film's stars is Burt Young, best known for his role in "Rocky." The actor who played the gunman was Mike Tattoo, Carpenter said.

"When you're doing independent films, you're working on budgets of a couple hundred grand or less," he said. "We try to use as many private locations as possible. We were so close to the highway, I guess we didn't realize that people would be looking in."