Skip to comments.Two Pepper Sprayed Over Phone Call At Florida Movie
Posted on 07/28/2004 4:43:05 AM PDT by Mulder
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A college student who took a cell phone call from her mother in a movie theater was pepper sprayed by an officer and charged with disorderly conduct, along with her boyfriend.
Warronnica Harris, 23, was at the Muvico theater at BayWalk Saturday night, watching the opening credits to Catwoman when her cell phone rang.
"It was my mom calling me," Harris said. "It was a family emergency."
Harris said she spoke so quietly that her mother couldn't hear her. Then Officer John Douglas shone a flashlight in her eyes.
He asked Harris and her boyfriend, Terrell "KC" Tolson, 25, to leave. He pushed Harris in the hallway, then pepper sprayed both of them in the lobby, the couple said. Neither Harris nor Tolson has a criminal record.
Police denied their account, saying Harris refused to end her cell phone conversation, yelled at the Douglas and refused to leave the theater. Her boyfriend also refused to leave and threatened the officer, police said.
Witnesses said the pair did nothing wrong.
Marcia Gray, a 49-year-old Tampa accountant, was in the lobby when the couple were pepper sprayed.
"The man turned and asked the officer why he was making them leave and the cop just maced him in the face," Gray said. "They weren't yelling or touching him. The man bent over and the girl asked why he maced her boyfriend. Then the cop maced her, and she dropped her soda."
NOBODY yells at the Douglas!
Latest article sheds new light.
Seems the guy has had prior convictions, and one of their witnesses was a friend of theirs.
The cops story is backed up by movie ushers.
I can understand that young people can sometimes get out of hand but the eyewittness accounts tell me this guy was on a power trip.
I stand corrected...
Wow! I hope the young couple got the names of witnesses and go after this guy. What a dick!
Read the link above.
The cop had witnesses too.
One of the witnesses for the couple was a friend.
This movie complex is famous for "no tolerance" in behavior of patrons, but that's because it's in a downtown area frequented by tourists.
My son goes to this complex and they are pretty strick about the "rules." It is private property and they have a right to enforce a code of behavior they've set down.
By the way, huge signs flash on the screen prior to the movie, stating that cell phone calls are prohibited in the theater.
The 'Burka' police?
Cut that cell phone hand off!
The AP story and the SPtimes story cannot possibly be describing the same incident. The stories completely contradict.
Regardless, cell phones should be TURNED OFF when one enters a theater.
We were in "The Passion of the Christ" and two Asian guys in the back row took a cell phone call. It did NOT appear to be an emergency---and hey, if it is, FREAKIN' LEAVE THE THEATER---and after everyone shot them dirty looks and said, "shut up," they quit.
You're no fun. Now we can't keep on whining about someone "getting maced for talking on the phone," while ignoring completely that this is an issue of the right of a theater owner to exclude anyone for anything he wants - whether talking on the phone, using a laser pointer, throwing popcorn, cleaning his gun, whatever. And that refusal to leave can be answered by reasonable and necessary force.
In fact, some of the whiners would have been the first to brag that a trespasser on their own property would have had to face their friends Smith and Wesson.
But not a theater owner. No, he becomes a Nazi because he won't let poor patron exercise consitutional right to yack on phone. No property rights for you, Mr. Theater Owner!
Operation scam in the mix. I think it is very funny how these witnesses pop up supporting the perps. An officer with 14 years on the force would be a fool to act as the couple allege. Folks this is a get the (man) for some money in the making. I do hope that the PD will not cave to these racial extortionists. There are some people in life who walk around with chip on the shoulder. Their attitude is when confronted with any legal authority, "You Can't Tell Me What to Do!!!) A retired police officer. P.S. I am glad those ushers were there for credibility of justice
I posted that yesterday that I'd be willing to BET that the man had priors and that Warronnicaaaaaaaaaaaaa did as well. I HATE being RIGHT all the time! If criminals are not afraid to break the law, they are not AFRIAD TO LIE, ala Bubba and Hitlary, Teddy K, etc.
"It is private property and they have a right to enforce a code of behavior they've set down."
DING DING DING! We have a winner!
Hooooo RAAAA! GO Police! I work in a library where cell phones are encoraged to be turned off at the door. We have people that just don't understand quiet. If it is an emergency....GO OUT SIDE!
GREAT POINT! Funny how folks forget about PRIVATE PROPERTY and what TRESPASSING means. When asked to LEAVE, YOU LEAVE! Period! There is no arguing it. Once you open your mouth to an officer, by definition of the law, you are RESISTING. If you exhibit a threatening gesture, you're going to get: (A) bounced on the ground, (B) Pepper-sprayed, (C) Arrested, (D) all of the above.
The correct answer is D.
The bottom line is know the law you are subjected to. Warronnicaaaaa and the other POS were wrong.
I once hit a fraternity brother in the forehead with a Pepsi can for singing his frat song in the university library. Direct hit at about 10 yards. The applause was for not his singing.
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