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Man accused of hitting noisy kid at Washington theater

By Associated Press


SEATTLE >> A Washington state man fed up with a group of noisy moviegoers behind him stepped over the seat and punched a 10-year-old boy in the face.

The man, who told police he thought the person he hit was a grown man, was watching "Titanic" in 3-D with his girlfriend and had asked the people sitting behind to quiet down and stop throwing popcorn, but they laughed at him, he said.

"I got so mad that it just happened," Yong Hyun Kim, 21, told police who arrested him the night of April 11 at the AMC Kent Station 14, in Kent, a south Seattle suburb.

The 10-year-old lost a tooth and had a bloody nose in the confrontation.

Kim spent a night in the Kent city jail and appeared April 12 in King County District Court and was released, said county prosecutor's spokesman Dan Donohoe.

Kim was charged May 16 with second-degree assault. If convicted, he could be sentenced to three to nine months in jail, Donohoe said Tuesday.

The Auburn man will be arraigned May 31 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.

A phone number for Kim could not be found, and it's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

The boy, identified in the police report as KJJ, was at the theater with three friends. They met police in the lobby. They said they were watching the movie and talking when Kim told them to be quiet. They quieted down, but KJJ says when he whispered something, Kim jumped over the seat, threw an iced drink at them and punched KJJ in the face.

Kim said something to the effect of "You know what, I paid a lot of money to see this movie," the police report said.

Kim told police the boys' behavior was worse than talking. He says they were hitting him and his girlfriend with popcorn, running back and forth in the aisle and bumping him with their arms.

"At one point Yong stepped over the seats and confronted the subjects behind him," the police report says. "Yong said he was talking to the subjects when they started laughing at him. Yong said he became so angry and swung his arm at one of the subjects and him in the face."

A manager at the theater referred a request for comment to a corporate spokesman.

"We strongly encourage guests to be respectful of their fellow moviegoers, and to report any disturbance to an AMC associate, so that we may handle it directly," AMC Theatres spokesman Ryan Noonan said in a statement. "The safety and security of our guests and associates is important to us, and we want everyone to enjoy the moviegoing experience."

Noonan said the theater's management told him no one had complained about audience behavior prior to the incident.

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olos73 wrote:
I bet next time the kid will sit quietly, watch the movie and eat his popcorn. Learn the hard way, kid.
on May 22,2012 | 09:41AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
How about those inconsiderate people who put their stinky feet on the seat backs in front of them or kick the backs of the chairs in front of them constantly?
on May 23,2012 | 10:35AM
Kealii wrote:
I know I should be disgusted with the man's actions ... but I'm not ... and I should feel sorry for the boy ... but I'm not ... is that wrong?
on May 22,2012 | 09:51AM
brian606 wrote:
on May 22,2012 | 09:59AM
PCWarrior wrote:
All well and good until the kid's family meets up the Korean dude. Then going get action like in the movie.
on May 22,2012 | 10:37AM
johncdechon wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 22,2012 | 10:07AM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Don't assume that if the parents were there they would've stopped the kids. Johncdechon, you are well adjusted and have manners, the parents of those brats probably are not. That's how they became brats in the first place. I "scared straight" counselling sessions for juvenile delinquents, I've seen parents who had to attend with their kids tell their kids not to listen to the convicts talking and to disobey the police officers who are conducting the sessions.
on May 22,2012 | 10:46AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Where did you read that the staff didn't do anything? There was nothing in the article about staff being notified. Learn to read.
on May 23,2012 | 08:12AM
eastside808 wrote:
I think a lot of us mature patrons would have wanted to do the same thing this man did. We have done a poor job of raising our kids to be disrespectful and obnoxious to the people around them. Are being polite and considerate considered a no, no in our current society?
on May 22,2012 | 10:35AM
likewise wrote:
That kid is why I don't go to movie theaters anymore. It costs a fortune to go and see a movie and buy some snacks these days. Then some ill-mannered brat spoils it for you.
on May 22,2012 | 01:19PM
goodvibrations wrote:
Must be a big kid!
on May 22,2012 | 01:36PM
f8ldzz wrote:
No mess with the Korean, brah...
on May 23,2012 | 01:51AM
Christopher_murp wrote:
I'm happy to see someone addressing this abhorent behavior. Too bad the kid lost a tooth. It appears the parents don't teach kids manners or respect for others any more. Additionally, what kind of parent abandons their 10 year old in a movie theater? If the parents were there, why did they not address the problem before another patron had to? Wonder if this kid behaves this way in school also?
on May 23,2012 | 04:56AM
Manapua_Man wrote:
In the end, the man is the one who got arrested and will have to go through the hassle of going to court to face these charges. The kid's parents will probably sue. Nowadays, even if someone does something bad... you cannot hit back. You are the one who will charged with assault and battery, not the person who started it.
on May 23,2012 | 06:06AM
ptofview wrote:
Yea, and what will the kid learn: Be a dickhead, get popped, cry to your mommy, get money. Be a dickhead, get popped.......
on May 23,2012 | 08:10AM
olos73 wrote:
Agree with you. When I lived on the mainland, kids are noisy, obnoxious and don't give a rip about other movie goers. From beginning to end, they make noise, yell, scream. Most go without their parents. It's parents time AWAY from their kids. I lived there 4 years, but went to movies only once or twice because of this. Hawaii kids are more civilized.
on May 23,2012 | 08:46AM
mokebla wrote:
Movie is PG13, where's the parents? I thought so, good job Kim. :-O!
on May 23,2012 | 10:24AM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Movie rage.
on May 23,2012 | 10:31AM
Peacenik wrote:
Should've complained to management. Shame on those cheering on a man punching a 10 year old.
on May 23,2012 | 10:32AM
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