Being distracted by the light emitting from a smartphone while watching a movie in the theater is annoying, but telling someone to turn the device off isn’t without its dangers, as one man found out earlier this week. A report in Variety says a man who asked an audience member to turn off their phone ended up being sprayed with mace for his trouble.
Apparently, the scene took place at the TCL Chinese 6 theater in Hollywood on Monday evening, during a screening of Mike Leigh’s latest film Mr. Turner, laid on as part of the AFI Film Festival. Five minutes into the film, the man asked a woman in front of him to stop using her phone, but she refused. According to the report, the man then tapped her on the shoulder, and said “You need to turn off your phone.”
This didn’t go over well, and after activating the flashlight app on her phone, the woman turned around, threatened to call the police, then produced her mace and sprayed him in the face. Clearly satisfied, she reportedly sat back down and continued watching the film as the man and his girlfriend left the theater. Security came in 15 minutes later to remove the woman, but it doesn’t seem she used her mace to fight them off.
Mashable paints a far more dramatic picture of the altercation, after being told the woman was shouting, swearing, and accusing the man of assaulting her, following the tap on the shoulder. It also seems the woman was mistaken for a man, and referred to as “sir,” which probably didn’t help. The manager of the theater told the Hollywood Reporter there had been “an incident,” but it had “been handled and everyone is OK.”