Phoenix filmmaker discusses fake terrorist video

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – A filmmaker who was arrested following a fake terror threat in Phoenix is out of jail and telling his side of the story.

Drivers called 911 after seeing someone with what looked like a rocket launcher on his shoulder.

Michael Turley spent two weeks in Tent City for that hoax. Now that he's out, he says the only thing he did wrong was make a film everyone wanted to watch.

"If I'm guilty of one thing, it's being an excellent storyteller," he said.

Turley has been a filmmaker for years. He said he never meant to put anyone in harm's way and that the so-called terrorist and grenade launcher in it were both fake.

"I am the furthest thing from a terrorist," he said.

But Turley is the man who "faked" terrorism. Last year he sent his 16-year-old nephew to a busy Phoenix intersection dressed up and toting a fake rocket launcher. He did it just after the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting.

Turley said he was testing Phoenix police response times.

The video went viral and landed Turley in court.

"The past year has been the worst time of my life," he said to a judge.

A teary-eyed Turley told the judge he never meant to put his nephew in danger.

"I would never put him in harm's way," he said.

But the judge didn't buy it and early this month sentenced him to two weeks in jail.

Turley said the whole thing was fake, even the countdown on the screen. He said police actually responded in four minutes.

"I made fun of the Phoenix Police Department and in Phoenix, Arizona, apparently that's something you don't do," Turley said.

As part of Turley's punishment, he'll spend the next two years on supervised probation.