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Actors in 'NCIS: New Orleans' sue over 2017 robbery scene

"When I went inside I talked to them I said 'this is insane. I don't think y'all realize how close this came for this ending up bad for all involved."

NEW ORLEANS — A few actors felt a little too in character when they were playing armed robbers for an "NCIS: New Orleans" scene and real cops showed up with very real guns drawn. 

This was in 2017, but three years later they're suing claiming the people behind the show didn't tell police what they were planning.

Bradford Roublow was one of several actors who played an armed robber in a scene for NCIS New Orleans in 2017. It was being filmed at Sol's Jewelry store in Chalmette. Sol Virani is the owner.

"I did all the scene, everything went good, at the end I saw all the lights all over me, every guy," Virani said. "I'm like wow."

Now they're suing, saying it all became a little too real. 

According to the lawsuit, someone at another store in the strip mall saw the men in ski masks, carrying assault rifles and jumping from a van. In belief that Sol's was being robbed, they called 911.

"We're thinking it's the real deal," said St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann.

He remembers responding to the call with at least a dozen deputies.

"We approached this all cautiously with our weapons drawn," Pohlmann said.

"I was detained and told I was being accused of armed robbery," Roublow said.

Deputies never fired their weapons, but Roublow remembers being held at gunpoint.

"I really didn't know if I was going to lose my life or not," he said.

"I said 'it's fake! NCIS!' Virani said. "It's like 40 cops."

Sheriff Pohlmann said they weren't informed about the shoot.

"We were not notified at all," Pohlmann said. "When I went inside I talked to them I said 'this is insane. I don't think y'all realize how close this came for this ending up bad for all involved."

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According to a copy of the lawsuit provided to us by the plaintiffs attorneys, CBS failed to get proper permits or alert neighboring businesses and law enforcement that the fake robbery was being staged.

"Something really bad could have happened," Pohlmann said.

Now Roublow, a second actor, and Virani are suing CBS for damages claiming they suffered physically, emotionally and economically, according to the lawsuit.

"The emotional feeling of almost losing your life on set doing something you love," Roublow said.

A snip of the scene appeared in Season 4 of NCIS New Orleans.

We reached out to CBS, but they declined to comment.

The plaintiffs' attorneys explain because NCIS is produced in Los Angeles, that's where it will be heard Thursday in court.

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