Matthew Lickona 11:49 p.m., Dec. 10
Seattle Moviegoer Charged with Knocking Out Noisy Ten-Year-Old's Tooth
A Seattle-area moviegoer, pushed to the limit by a rowdy 10-year-old boy, has been charged with felony assault for allegedly taking a poke at the kid.
It began at on April 11 at 10:30 p.m. when Kent police received a call complaining that a man had attacked a child during a screening of Titanic 3-D. While I applaud the parents for allowing their minor child to stay up way past his bedtime on a school night watching Titanic 3D, a pox on them for not teaching the ill-mannered whippersnapper proper movie theatre etiquette.
Officers arrived at the AMC Kent Station 14 to find to find the 10-year-old, his mother, and several friends in the theater lobby. The boy was bleeding from the nose and had a hole in his grin after having a tooth knocked out by 21-year-old Yong Hyun Kim.
It's a classic situation and one we've all endured: you take your best gal or guy to the picture show and a passel of noisy kids seated several rows behind decide to use you for target practice. The first salvo of popcorn is amusing, but the laughs quickly fade after the third or fourth downpour.
Over-the-shoulder requests to knock it off are generally ignored. In this case, Mr. Kim's pleas were met with more adolescent jeers. According to charging documents, Kim walked over to the group, lost his cool and proceeded to deliver an open-handed slap to one of the pre-teens.
Kim told police "I got so mad when it happened" and that in the dark he didn't realize the boy was so young. (Wearing 3-D glasses didn't help the situation.)
Unless he was trying to impress his date, it remains unclear why the hot-headed Mr. Kim didn't simply consult the aid of an usher to help put an end to the disruption.
Mr. Kim could face months in jail if convicted.
Proper movie theatre politesse begins at home. While it is not my goal to turn victim into villain or advocate child abuse, it would have been nice if Mr. Kim had exchanged a few verbal fisticuffs with the offending boy's mother in the lobby.