The moment a stampede of panicked customers fled a bar in the north of Brazil has been captured on the restaurant’s CCTV cameras but not all is what it seems.
Customers at the Cervejaria Alphaiate bar and restaurant were enjoying their meal on Saturday night at around 9pm outside when they were frightened and forced to flee their tables by a group of people running directly towards them.
Patrons of the brewery quickly stood up from their seats after noticing the group heading towards them and began running in the other direction, flipping tables and chairs.
The restaurant waiter can also be seen in the footage looking confused and eventually taking off after the stampede of diners, reportedly because the group was assumed to be thieves attempting to rob the restaurant.
The CCTV footage was uploaded to WhatsApp and then Twitter on Wednesday and quickly became viral with the original video being watched by over 3.3 million people.
In the video, a woman can first be seen running along the footpath past the restaurant’s outdoor seating, followed by a man with a dog which prompted another woman to stand up from her table and urge those sitting with her to get up and leave also.
Once the woman and her friends fled the table, the rest of the guests at the bar followed quickly in fear, dragging others along with them, some leaving belongings behind and within seconds the restaurant was almost bare.
The restaurant’s waiter can also be seen running after being confused by the situation as the last of the patrons flip and trip over chairs on the way out.
One dedicated guest of the bar can be seen falling out of their chair and into the gutter next to a car in the hurry, but refusing to let go or drop their beer in the panic.
In the final seconds of the video, a group of five men who appear to be wearing hats and exercise clothing, jog past the scene.
It has since been revealed that the group approaching the restaurant and scaring the customers was said to be a CrossFit exercise group, not thieves attempting to rob customers and the bar.
“Then they said it was CrossFit,” said doctor Amyr Kelner who was reportedly at the restaurant at the time, according to local media.
“It was very fast. People were coming slowly, then, when they got close to our table, they started running. I told my friend to call and hold her bag. She got up and, at that moment, someone shouted that it was a robbery. That’s when I got up, shouted that it was also a robber and ran away,” he told local media source G1.
“After a few minutes, we saw that nothing was happening. Everyone started laughing and went back to the tables as if nothing had happened.
“When I got up, I put my cell phone and wallet in my pocket. There were people who thought I was pulling out a gun. It’s something to live in a city as insecure as ours.
“Thank God, I’ve never been robbed, nor have I experienced anything like that, but you’re in an extremely dangerous city and you see three people running towards you.”
In a statement provided to local media, the restaurant said the confusion was “nothing more than a misunderstanding”.
Originally published as CrossFit group mistaken for robbers in Brazil as customer flee in fear