Moviegoer Arrested for Tapping Rude Texter on the Shoulder

movie theater popcornPicture this. It's Friday night, and you're indulging in dinner and movie night with your sweetie. And just when Mila Kunis is delivering the most heeeelarious line, somebody's cellphone goes off. What would you do? Tap the guy on the shoulder and tell him to knock it off? Hold that thought -- it could get you slapped with an assault charge.

I wish I was kidding.


In a sign of true asshattery, some muscle-bound moron (he describes himself as a former football player) named Dale Fout called police on the woman who tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to please take his texting thumbs outside. For a tap. On the shoulder. With one finger. In a movie theater. When he was texting on his cellphone with the bright screen lighting up the dark room.

Of course Fout -- who weighs in the 220 range -- claims the 136-pound Brenda Godwin caused him neck pain. Snort. With her tap. And had her charged with assault. Snort. Snort. Oh excuse me, I seem to be -- snort -- having a -- snort, snort -- problem here.

I can't seem to think of anything more ridiculous at this moment in time. It's not the idea of a 136-pound woman hurting a big, strapping man. Take a woman with a little self defense training, and she can kick some serious hiney. I know I wouldn't want to face someone as in shape as Hope Solo alone in a dark alley.

But in this world, people touch each other. We are human, after all, sharing the same planet. We brush past someone standing with her cart in the MIDDLE OF THE DARN AISLE in the grocery store. We accidentally crunch someone's foot as we climb over them to get back to our middle-of-the-row seat in the theater. We might even, gasp, snag the arm of the guy ahead of us in the popcorn line on the shoulder to let him know he just dropped his money clip.

What are these occurrences? Considering the legal definition of assault describes it as "an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact," they're NOT assault. No one is trying to cause harm. There's no intent.

And in the real world -- you know, the one where people can take that giant hint that's spread across every movie screen in the country that cellphones should be TURNED OFF in a movie theater -- neither is a one-fingered tap on the shoulder. It's just a normal way to get someone's attention.

Does this case make you feel wary of ever touching anyone ever again?


Image via CLF/Flickr

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