Moviegoers pepper sprayed in theater

Patrons report coughing, eyes burning as theater was evacuated

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - People at a midnight showing of "The Amazing Spider-Man" say they were coughing and their eyes were burning as they evacuated the theater.

It happened early Tuesday at the AMC theater in Regency Square Mall.

"I started coughing and I didn't know if I was coughing just because everyone else was coughing and then I started feeling a burning sensation in my throat and my eyes," said Justin Hand.

Those on hand were quickly evacuated and there were no injuries.

"When people started leaving and running down the stairs, this one guy stumbled and I started getting really scared," said Emily Valaer.

Valaer and Hand said there was a scuffle in the back of the theater and that coughing started spreading to the front of the theater.

"Leaving the theater was difficult because everyone was pushing to get out of there," said Hand.

No police report was listed for the incident, nor did the fire department respond to the scene at Regency Square Mall, but Hand and Valaer were given free passes.

AMC issued the following statement, "To ensure the safety of our guests, AMC associates quickly cleared the theater and provided passes to those in attendance. The location is operating as usual today."

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