An Eagan, Minn., teen has been charged with several felonies after authorities say he was responsible for tossing a lit firework into an Eagan movie theater last week that injured two people including an infant.
Khalid Bedel Hassan, 18, has been charged in the July 12 incident with third-degree assault, threats of violence and two counts of first-degree criminal damage to property, all felonies, and one misdemeanor count of fifth-degree assault.
Charges say Eagan police were called to the Emagine movie theater on Cliff Road just before 8:30 p.m. on a report of a disturbance. Police learned that an aerial firework had been lit and tossed into a theater where about 40 people were attending a movie screening.
Police observed that several people were visibly upset, and some expressed to police they thought they were going to be killed, believing the explosion may have been gunfire.
A video surfaced online later that evening which appeared to capture the explosion. The criminal complaint says the suspects recorded video and posted it online.
Someone reportedly lit a firecracker inside and Eagan theater earlier. https://t.co/WygxQr6V6t
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) July 13, 2022
Surveillance images captured four young males entering the theater just before the explosion. A male later identified as Hassan was observed walking down the aisle, lighting the firework and then throwing it into the area directly in front of the handicap row.
After the firework exploded moments later, three suspects fled on foot while the fourth male remained in the theater and continued to film the aftermath. Several movie patrons were observed running out of the theater in a panic, the complaint says.
At least two people were injured, including an 11-month-old baby who sustained burns on her cheeks and nose. The other victim had multiple cuts on her leg and was later referred to a wound clinic to undergo the removal of debris and infected tissue from the wounds. The complaint says both victims were seated in the handicap row in the theater.
In a subsequent interview with police, Hassan admitted to lighting and throwing the firework in the theater and identified himself in the footage.
Hassan was taken into custody on Wednesday and made his first court appearance on Thursday. Hassan was denied a public defender, and the court record does not yet show any private attorney information.
Prosecutors filed a notice of intent to seek an aggravated upward sentencing departure against Hassan due to the fact that children were present during the crime.
Bail was set at $50,000 without conditions or $25,000 with conditions. Records show Hassan was released from custody Thursday evening and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Aug. 16.
The Eagan theater announced a policy update on Monday stating that no one age 17 and under would be allowed in the theater after 6 p.m. unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
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