Ask A Yakking Theater Patron To Be Quiet, Get Charged With Assault

from the how-it-goes dept

We've all heard stories or dealt with rude theater patrons who answered phone calls during a movie. However, when an Australian politician visiting family in Texas tried to ask one such person to please be quiet, the end result had the politician charged with assault. From the various press accounts, it appears that the Australian woman tapped the shoulder of the woman who answered the phone, and put a finger to her own lips to indicate to her that she should be quiet. When the woman kept on talking, she tried again -- which apparently angered the yakker to no end. She started yelling, then stormed out of the theater and called the police. The police came back and charged both women, who now have to appear in court. It's likely (you hope) that the court realizes the "shusher" didn't do anything wrong and lets her off, but if not, she's facing a $700 fine. Who knew that asking someone to stop being rude was now a crime?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    fuzzmanmatt, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 2:12am

    Ah the love...

    This is why, despite every horrible thing that we can think of, I still can't bring myself to completely love everything about America.

     

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  2.  
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    Juan, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 2:13am

    Stupid people

    After living in the United States, it still amazes me to no avail the idiocy of a lot of people. If you go to a movie theater, you need to shut up. And if someone is telling you to be quiet, then you need to shut up. It's ridiculous that that woman charged the Australian woman with assault. It's ridiculous that the police even let this woman file this report. I'd be curious to see the outcome of this.

     

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  3.  
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    Kevin Mesiab, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 2:19am

    -

    I wouldn't go so far as to blame America. The citation is at the behest of the responding police officer. I bet it doesn't make it past pre-trial discovery.

    However, before we can even blame the cop, the story doesn't tell us what kind of statements he/she heard. I imagine the chatty patron accused the woman of hitting her and without sufficient evidence to the contrary, he/she decided on citing them both and letting a judge sort it out.

     

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  4.  
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    mrb, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 4:12am

    No Subject Given

    it would be easier to go to management when someone is rude and have them thrown out.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 5:03am

    Re: No Subject Given

    yes, but why should you have to leave and miss a portion of the movie just to tell a - probably non existant or apathetic - manager that there is someone bothering everyone in the theater. The only way I would leave is to get the manager and get a free ticket to see the movie again.

    But, then again, I don't go to the theater because of rude people that bring their phones, kids and the like. I'm sorry, but theaters are not for children either. They are too loud and children can never sit still or be quiet for the entire movie.

    Oh and for those of you that think it is cool to bring a newborn, be glad that there isn't a cop around. Seeing as how the noise in the theater can blow out their fragile eardrums. If you have a small child, invest in a sitter or a relative to watch your child. Otherwise, don't go. There should be a policy at the theaters for age restrictions. If they are not 10 or older, they don't get in, even with a parent. Everyone with younger children can invest in Netflix.

     

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  6.  
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    MadJo (profile), Feb 13th, 2006 @ 5:11am

    figures...

    And the movie industry asks itself why so few people visit the cinemas...

     

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  7.  
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    Ura Dumba$$, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 5:53am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Anonymous Coward that can't give a subject either, I have two children, ages 5 and 3. If they are interested in the movie, they will sit and watch it better than most teenagers and adults do--AND they don't have cell phones. I know their tastes and I will often watch a movie before I take them to make sure they will like it. That being said, even when they don't like the movie all that much, all they ever do is crawl up in my wife's and my lap and go to sleep (which has only happened ONCE in all the movies that they have seen in the theater). They do know that if they are noisy in any way, they will be taken out and will get a timeout in the theater lobby (they hate timeouts).

    I think that people that don't know how to control their kids or don't have kids should be forever forbidden from expressing their own opinions on what others should do with kids. I'm sorry, but such people, as anonymous coward above, don't have the brain power to really decide what other people should do with their kids.

     

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  8.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Feb 13th, 2006 @ 5:53am

    Re: figures...

    No... they know why noone goes to the theaters. It's all those illegal downloader's faults that the movie-going industry is suffering.

    If nothing else, we can thank the chatty lady for yet another dead fish with which we can smack the movie industry upside the head. Not that they'll listen...

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 9:53am

    Re: No Subject Given

    ...and just before you bring your kid who is being annoying to the lobby for the "timeout" (whatever your family means by that), the rest of the patrons in theater have to deal with your kid's disruption for that period of time... way to go!!

    Chances are, that whatever movie you are bringing your kids to, there are probably plenty of other kids at as well; "Finding Nemo", "Herby/Luv Bug", any Disney or other Cartoon film... but we are not talking about kids being disruptive in those "meant for children" movies.

    Please do NOT bring your "under 10 years old" kids to an R-Rated or even PG-13 film. Just because you are the kids mommy and know what's best for the kid, doesn't mean that the rest of us need to put up with your kid's whining when he knows even better what's best for himself.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 10:05am

    No Subject Given

    a.) I'll bet you $100 the woman on the cell phone that complained to the cops was black, "No skinny-assed honky bitch sounding like Mel Gibson is gonna shush me..."

    b.) The cop should be fired for wasting his/her time in even deal with this and then wasting the court's time by issuing citations.

    c.) Just one more reason to wait for the DVD

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 10:37am

    Re: No Subject Given

    well, it did happen in texas.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 11:06am

    Re: No Subject Given

    "I think that people that don't know how to control their kids or don't have kids should be forever forbidden from expressing their own opinions on what others should do with kids."

    How DARE you try to infringe on the greatest
    American pass time, talking about things we
    know nothing about.

    I'm sure you've done it too. I'm outraged.

    Children should behave like children. I feel
    qualified to speak on this subject since I was
    indeed once a child. If you take your child
    to an adult movie you're an ass, clear and
    simple.





     

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  13.  
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    Badogg, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 11:09am

    Re: No Subject Given

    "I'll bet you $100 the woman on the cell phone that complained to the cops was black, "No skinny-assed honky bitch sounding like Mel Gibson is gonna shush me...""

    :O

    Can't believe that people still have this train of thought. Too bad, I was right there with ya until that ignorant comment.

     

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  14.  
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    William C Bonner, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 11:36am

    Re: The cop should be fired ???

    Regarding the cop's fault level, if a cop shows up, and a person is wanting to press assault charges, then the cop should be fired if they didn't file the citation.

    The cop is there to break up the disturbance and be a witness to the event's They are not there to be the judge of the actions. They should try to bring some level headed information into the process. It sounds like the cops tried to dissuade the complainant but she wanted to press charges for assult. So the cops went ahead and did that, but then added the public nuisance charges (obsceneties in public, etc) against the complainant.

     

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  15.  
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    okwhen, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 11:48am

    Inner hatred

    The bet you proposed provides the readers with an in-depth understanding of your self-worth. I hope that you will discover something worthwhile in life. Life is precious and you are just wasting it. Visit a retirement home and a children hospital ward and you will discover how much you have and how little time you have left.

     

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  16.  
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    mike-ish, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    next time...

    next time someone answers a phone in a theater, I swear to Flying Spaghetti Monster (is the one true creator and the spork is its divine utensil) I'll eat their damn phone.

    religion and manners flamewars both commencing in 3..2..1..

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Steve Taylor, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 4:38pm

    Re: The cop should be fired ???

    > Regarding the cop's fault level, if a cop shows up, and a person is wanting to press assault charges, then the cop should be fired if they didn't file the citation.
    I read a slightly fuller version of this story elsewhere, and it explicity stated that the cops thought it was a frivolous complaint, and that they urged the woman not to press charges - but she insisted. So, no fault with the cops, just with the nut with the hairtrigger temper and the sense of entitlement.

     

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  18.  
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    Stack, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 6:59pm

    Another example

    This story sounds just like this one from a while back (click for mugshots):

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0728041cell1.html

    Florida duo nabbed after "Catwoman" phone spat

    JULY 28--Meet Warronnica Harris and Terrell Tolson. The Florida couple got popped this week at a St. Petersburg theater after Harris, 23, allegedly refused to end a cell phone call as the opening credits for "Catwoman" rolled. When an off-duty police officer working at the theater tried to curtail her chat, Harris announced that "she could talk as much as she wanted on her phone," according to this police report. In short order, Tolson, 25, joined in, allegedly telling Officer John Douglas that he would kick the cop's ass. The report quotes Harris as saying she would "hit the cracker in his head." In a bid to subdue the duo (pictured below in mug shots snapped by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office), Douglas blasted them with pepper spray. Harris and Tolson were eventually charged with disorderly conduct--and spared having to sit through another Halle Berry bomb. (3 pages)

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous white guy, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Another example

    Huh...

    Rude on a cell phone in a movie

    Threatened a cop.

    Called white people honkies...

    And it turns out they were black.

    Who would have ever seen that coming?

    I don’t hate black people, but just like Bill Cosby, I do hate “black culture.” Whether you are a wigger or a nigger it is equally stupid, and equally loathsome.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    sunomuno2u, Feb 14th, 2006 @ 6:30am

    Re: No Subject Given

    As a native Texan, I would encourage you to petition others in your (nameles) location to speak all the ill will you can about Texas, as this will prevent the migration of your ilk to Texas....Peckerneck.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Jared Anderson, Feb 16th, 2006 @ 3:01pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I have yet to encounter anyone talking on a cell phone in the movie theaters I always wonder if this happened often or once in a blue moon?

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Louis, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 8:41am

    I hope the charges against the "shusher" have been dropped, but this should serve as a warning. Tapping somebody on the shoulder in this day and age can be considered unwanted touching. If a rude patron doesn't want to listen, then just walk out and demand a refund for your movie ticket. If theaters don't want to bother keeping ushers around to police people's behavior, they're going to keep losing customers.

     

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