The incident occurred during the 5pm showing of the film Tower Heist on 21 November at Majestic Bay Theaters in Ballard. The responding officer from the Seattle Police Department says that the victim’s cell phone rang several times toward the end of the film, and he checked to find out who was calling him, infuriating another cinemagoer, who yelled at him to “Turn it off”. When the phone rang again a few minutes later, the victim apparently whispered something to himself, prompting the suspect to say, “Better keep your mouth shut”. The suspect apparently left the cinema twice, only to return and attack the victim, grabbing his throat. The victim says that the attack continued for around 30 seconds, during which time he was unable to breathe. The suspect then allegedly threatened that he would tell the manager that he was the victim of the assault.
Two other people in the theater witnessed the assault, claiming that they saw the suspect’s hands around the victim’s throat. There is no word yet as to whether charges will be filed. Moviegoers will no doubt be hoping that the assault gives cell phone users pause for thought before allowing the devices to remain active during a film.