Madison police helped find the five boys using a drone after authorities said they had crashed a stolen car and later hid behind a movie theater screen.
The incident increased the police presence at Marcus Point Cinema, which included the SWAT team at the police station and crisis negotiators. At a press conference on Thursday, five teens rushed into the theater after a rollover accident at the beltline near Mineral Point Road around 6 pm, Brian Austin Assistant Chief said.
Police found a pistol loaded in a crashed silver sedan, which police said was stolen on the Far West Side a few days ago.
After escaping from the crash site, Austin said the five boys bought movie tickets and hid behind the theater screen.
Police evacuated the cinema with the help of members of the SWAT team. Austin said no weapons were found in the cinema.
Austin said many police officers from the district and other units surrounded the theater and kept in touch with employees, but other theaters in the complex did not evacuate.
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Austin said the SWAT team used a small drone to find the boy.
“We have a lot of technical resources we can hire to avoid sending police to uncertain areas, and we have the flexibility to search for suspects before entering the room and physically doing it.” He said.
Austin said the decision to use a drone depends on the physical environment. In the case of movie theaters, he said, a screen that obstructed the police team’s view made the team decide that it was safest to use a drone.
Police said the boy had been detained without incident and treated by rescuers. According to Austin, four out of five ranged from 14 to 16 years old. The fifth was 17 years old.
Members of the police station violent crime unit are still investigating possible links to the shootings that occurred on Reetz Road five hours ago. Austin said no information was yet available on whether the case was relevant.
“Teamwork has enabled a safe and excellent solution to a situation that is quite dangerous and quite chaotic given the nature and time of the business,” Austin said.
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