An 18-year-old man accused of throwing a lit firework into an Eagan movie theater is one of four suspects in the incident, which left a baby with facial burns and caused some patrons to run from what they feared was gunfire, according to charges filed Thursday.
Khalid B. Hassan, of Eagan, was charged in Dakota County District Court with threats of violence with intent to terrorize, two counts of first-degree property damage, and third- and fifth-degree assault in connection with the large firework going off about 8:20 p.m. July 12 during a showing of "The Black Phone" at the Emagine theater complex in the 2000 block of Cliff Road.
Hassan was arrested Tuesday and remains jailed in lieu of $25,000 bail ahead of a hearing on Aug. 16. Court records do not list an attorney for him.
The criminal complaint against Hassan mentions three other males who showed up at the theater with him, but no other arrests have been announced.
While the three other males fled after the firework went off, Hassan stayed behind and video-recorded the aftermath, the charges read.
"The purposeful act of setting off a firework inside a movie theater, which caused physical injury and led patrons to believe there was an active shooter in their midst, is a reprehensible act, made more so by the recent spate of mass killings across the United States," Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena said in a statement issued shortly after the charges were filed. "The investigation is ongoing, and charges may be filed against the other individuals involved in this incident."
According to the complaint:
About 40 people were in the theater when Hassan tossed the firework in front of the row for handicapped patrons. Frightened moviegoers told law enforcement that they believed "they were going to be killed when the firework initially went off as they believed it was gunfire," the charges read.
Among the several people who were injured was an 11-month-girl who had burns on her cheeks and nose. Another patron had cuts on one leg and was directed to a clinic for "removal of debris and infected tissue from the wounds," the charges continued. Both were seated in the handicap row.
"I wish to extend my best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to those injured physically or mentally by this senseless act," Keena's statement said.