Filmmaker arrested for fake terrorist videoPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Police arrested Michael D. Turley Monday after he allegedly dressed his teenage relative in a sheet, armed him with a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and sent him to create a terrorist hoax to prompt police response.
It happened at the intersection of 33rd Avenue and Bell Road on July 28.
“This is a terrorist act, because we don’t use grenade launchers in this country,” said Phoenix police spokesman James Holmes.
Police have been waiting since July 28 to make an arrest because Holmes said they needed more evidence of Turley’s intent.
They got that evidence last week when Turley posted his film on YouTube, in which he clearly states that he is, “about to mimic a modern day terrorist brandishing an intimidating weapon.” That gave police what they needed to make an arrest.
In the film, Turley references both the movie theater massacre in Colorado and Columbine and says that in light of those events, he wanted to test the response time of Phoenix police.
Turley claims the police took nearly 15 minutes to respond, but police dispute that.
“Once the call was actually put out by dispatch until the time we got there, it was about three and a half minutes,” Holmes said.
According to Turley’s Facebook page, he founded the Phoenix production company Summitstar Films and Entertainment.
His Facebook page also says that Turley also works as a hypnotist and magician under the name Gianni the unknown hypnotist.
Turley faces a number of charges including knowingly giving a false impression of a terrorist act. His teenage relative was also arrested and is awaiting charges.