Many residents in Riverside, California have been asking the same question over the last few weeks: "Is that Forrest Gump?" And the answer is yes. Forrest Gump has been running across the Southern California city for the last week or so, and sightings of the man dressed in an apparent Halloween costume are taking social media by storm. Complete with a fake beard, red Bubba Gump hat, yellow shirt, red shorts, and the trademark running shoes, "Forrest" has been spotted over 10 times since October 19th.
The man dressed as Forrest Gump has been running around neighborhoods and stopping to take pictures with residents, spreading happiness to just about everybody that he runs into. The costume is pretty close to the same outfit worn by Tom Hanks in the 1994 Academy Award winning movie Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks' character spends part of the movie running across the country towards the end of the classic movie. The man identified himself to ABC 7 News only as Forrest Gump. He added that, "it doesn't really matter" who he is. He says his runs are, "just something that took off and made the community happy, made people smile."
The community has been taking pictures and video, posting them all over social media. Even local law enforcement has gotten in on the fun. Riverside PD took to Facebook to post a picture of Forrest Gump and said, "Earlier today, officers got into a foot pursuit ... He got away. That's about all we gotta say 'bout that!" Residents appear to love spotting the man impersonating Gump and a few have even likened the sightings to an Easter Egg hunt while others say that it simply puts a smile on their face to see the beloved character running around their city.
Forrest Gump was released in 1994 where it narrowly beat The Lion King (which was in its 4th week) for the number one spot at the box office. The movie then stayed at the number one spot for 10 weeks, going on to earn over $300 million dollars in the United States and Canada and making it the 4th highest grossing movie of all time in 1994. A lot has changed since then, but the movie still holds a spot in the hearts of many and the man in Riverside is tapping into that spirit on his random runs across the city.
While the man impersonating Forrest Gump won't come out and release his real name, hopefully he knows just how happy that he's making residents in Riverside, California. Who knows, maybe the man will start a trend of running Forrest Gumps all over the country, spreading joy like a skinny Santa Claus. While we wait for that trend, there's video and pictures of the Forrest Gump impersonator running around Riverside. One of the best videos comes to us courtesy of ABC 7's Twitter account and it shows a brief interview with the impersonator as well as some video of him taking pictures with fans. Check out the video below.