A married couple watching “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” in a Columbus, Ohio theater this weekend were the suspects of a government investigation themselves after FBI agents pulled the husband from the theater for wearing a Google Glass and interrogated him for almost four hours.
Gadgeteer posted the couple’s story as told by the husband in an email, who said he applied to get a Google Glass early and had the device fitted with his eyeglass prescription lenses. The man declined to identify himself in the email, and posted the message online to warn other Google Glass users.
On Saturday evening, the couple went to an AMC movie theater at the Easton Mall in Columbus and sat down to watch the film when an unidentified man approached the husband, flashed a badge and forcibly removed his glasses, demanding that the husband follow him outside.
Once outside, a gathering of mall security and police officers informed the man he was caught illegally taping the movie, and was relieved of his personal cellphone, work phone and wallet. The husband and his wife were then led to two separate rooms in the back of the mall for questioning.
According to Gadgeteer, two agents identified themselves as federal officers and began to question the man, who continually tried to explain he wore the glasses for his vision prescription, and that the Google Glass, along with both of his cellphones, were turned off during the movie, and the agents were free to check all of them to verify he was telling the truth.
“They wanted to know who I am, where I live, where I work, how much I’m making, how many computers I have at home, why am I recording the movie, who am I going to give the recording to, why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain, ’cause they are not interested in me. Over and over and over again,” the man said. “Then they wanted to know what does Google ask of me in exchange for Glass, how much is Google paying me, who is my boss and why am I recording the movie.”
The agents refused to let the man touch the confiscated Google Glass, citing concerns that he would destroy any evidence against him. Eventually after hours of questioning, one of the agents connected the Google Glass to a computer and looked through all of the man’s personal images from the two months since he’s acquired the device, and concluded he was innocent.
A representative from the “Movie Association” later explained that piracy issues were common at the theater, and that he was called by AMC after the man walked into the theater wearing the Google Glass.
The representative then called the FBI, according to the man’s account. The man explained that no one working at the theater told him he was not allowed to wear the glasses inside.
The couple were offered four free movie tickets as compensation, and no apology.
AMC media relations did not return a Daily Caller request for comment, and the management of the Easton Mall AMC refused to comment for this story.