An Australian police officer went from zero to Mach 10 when a fellow cop threatened to spoil "Top Gun: Maverick" for him.
Constable Dominic Francis Gaynor, 30, pleaded guilty to carrying a firearm with disregard for his colleague's safety. According to court documents, Probationary Constable Morgan Royston, 26, had seen the film the previous evening and told Gaynor that he would spoil it for him.
"He pointed his firearm at the vicinity of the complainant and held it stationary for five seconds," the documents state. "The offender's finger was on the receiver and not the trigger. The offender was laughing throughout this incident."
Gaynor reportedly told Royston, “Don't spoil the movie, c—" and “I’ll shoot you,” according to the Australian Broadcasting Company.
“Top Gun: Maverick,” the blockbuster sequel to the 1986 action drama “Top Gun,” both starring Tom Cruise, opened in theaters in May 2022. It nabbed six Oscar nominations, including best picture, and scored the biggest domestic launch ever for Cruise.
Royston quit the force over the incident, and on Thursday he became emotional as he explained that he had wanted to become a police officer despite the serious dangers the job entailed. Royston said although it was common to "share jokes and tease each other," he felt "overwhelming shock and fear" as Gaynor pulled the gun on him, and that he fell into a depression in the aftermath.
“I have completely lost the trust I had and my admiration for the NSW Police Force,” Royston told the court on Thursday. “When I see a police officer now, I feel compelled to watch them and check their hand is not on their firearm.”
Gaynor's lawyer, Chris Micali, said his client was remorseful and had made a mistake, but there was no malicious intent. He chalked up the incident as "a case where the skylarking and tomfoolery in an employment context has gone awry."
Micali said a conviction would "definitely see him removed from the police force," adding that the incident would cost his client "dearly."
Gaynor was convicted and given a community correction order for two years and 100 hours of community service. He also was suspended without pay earlier in the week.
This isn't the only near-fatal altercation prompted by threats to spoil entertainment in recent years.
In 2018, a Russian scientist working in Antarctica faced attempted murder charges after he allegedly stabbed a colleague for repeatedly spoiling the endings of books that he had read in the remote oupost's library.
Sergey Savitsky, an engineer, was accused of stabbing welder Oleg Beloguzov in the chest, the Sun reported. Beloguzov was evacuated to Chile for medical treatment, and his life reportedly was not in danger. Savitsky was taken to St. Petersburg and arrested. Savtisky served a few days of house arrest, and at the beginning of 2019, the case reportedly was dropped.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.