A preholiday pretend fight among five men at a Walmart in Commack that panicked shoppers was an unlawful assembly, authorities said on Friday, offering a $5,000 reward for anyone whose help leads to arrests.
Other shoppers, witnessing the staged dispute at the Crooked Hill Road store at midday on Dec. 2, called 911 about a possible active shooter, the police have said.
The store had not given permission to the men, who apparently were intent on making a video, police said.
Suffolk County police and Crime Stoppers, who are looking for the men involved, released surveillance images of the men on Friday. A Walmart spokesman previously said the company provided police with security camera footage and was cooperating with the investigation.
Under New York State law, an individual can be charged with unlawful assembly for gathering with four or more other people "for the purpose of engaging or preparing to engage with them in tumultuous and violent conduct likely to cause public alarm, or when, being present at an assembly which either has or develops such purpose, he remains there with intent to advance that purpose."
Class B misdemeanors like this trigger a sentence as long as 90 days.
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