Woman Sprays Man with Mace During AFI Screening

Mr. Turner Cannes 2014

The AFI Film Festival screening of “Mr. Turner” had theatergoers scratching their heads (and eyes) on Monday night when one audience member maced another in the face for asking her to turn off her cell phone.

It happened during Mike Leigh’s historical drama “Mr. Turner,” starring Timothy Spall, at the Chinese 6 theater in Hollywood.

According to an eyewitness account, the man repeatedly told the woman to turn off her cell phone five minutes into the movie. After she refused, the man then reached over the seat and tapped her on the shoulder (“You need to turn off your phone!” he said), causing the woman to stand up, and after a brief exchange, she sprayed him in the face with the self-defense chemical.

“Everyone in the audience was watching in disbelief,” the eyewitness said.

The man and his girlfriend quickly left the theater. It’s unknown how many other moviegoers also left the festival screening.

The woman, after showering the man with the incapacitant, returned to her seat and continued watching the movie like nothing had happened.

Security quietly came in and removed her from the theater 15 minutes later.

As for “Mr. Turner,” which is about 19th century painter J.M.W. Turner, the audience rather enjoyed the rest of the film.

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  1. zyggie says:

    Just to show you the trend now a days, I was at a performance of cirque du soleil this weekend and there was a woman behind us and a child about 7 or 8 yrs old. The young child did not want to sit next to a black couple and the mom told this child that he would have to grin and bear it because unfortunately that’s the way the world is and things will change.

    This woman talked during the entire show, also got on the phone the decline volunteering at her church and talked in detail and continued to talk about the performers the entire show.

    God works in strange ways, not only was the young boy and mom sitting next to a black couple but, as the show began, there were different race couples on both sides in front and back of them both.

    This is what some of our small kids are being taught. How to Hate. Sad.

    • I love the way you explain why most people don’t wanted to go the theater anymore. It is amazing that woman with a child go to church every sunday and act like so holy but differ when she leave the church her true self come out.

      • Dexter says:

        It is funny how adults act so child-like especially on “grown up” events such as this one. It is like seeing “no flash photography” signs on art exhibits and see half the crowd with their flash still turned on! I mean, regardless of language how difficult is it to be respectful?

  2. zyggie says:

    Angry, this woman is angry and full of hate and probably has done this before and gotten away with it. I think she should be fined and spin time in jail. Bet she stops. If not, she needs mental assistance.

    • Tony says:

      I wish the man who she sprayed maced on would come forward and press charges. This women needs to be stopped. I bet it will happen again and next time someone is going to get really get hurt.

  3. I believe that there is one too many walking around the city decide to release their angry against anybody and believe that nothing will happened. I hope that the law will decide to throw the book against these angry person.

  4. Matt says:

    There goes a little more faith in humanity. Wonder how many more raving psychotics like this woman and walking around.

  5. I should be shock about this isn’t the first time but the sad part I am not. I wanted to know how she isn’t behind jail.

  6. David McGiffert says:

    the entitlement mob, ya gotta love them…

  7. The man who she spray the mace should have give the police/manager an statement.

  8. Moto says:

    The woman was in the complete wrong I mean unless the man was threatening her than it was uncalled for. This woman will most likely do it again. Agreed the man should’ve probably contacted the manager but oh well.

  9. John says:

    I was there and recognized her….I emailed AFI her name….hopefully they will arrest her.

  10. Candace Punch says:

    People like her need to be banned from the theater
    or have their phones taken away!

  11. I still believe that the gentleman should have got the manager to handle the problem because it look like the woman who spray the man with mace was looking for trouble in the first place.

  12. zyggie says:

    This was wrong plain and simple. Suppose everyone starts to do things like this because they become insulted or feel that what they have going on in their lives is much more important than doing the right thing. I hope they fine this woman or scare the daylights out of her. If not, she will do it again.

  13. Jesus says:

    Did nobody else in the theatre feel any ancillary consequences from the mace? Certain types of mace dissipate outwards in larger concentric waves than others. I’d be mondo upset if I sat nearby and had to deal with it. Matter of fact, if it irritated any additional patrons, it could be more problematic for her.

  14. Jaime says:

    Not to be “devil’s advocate”, as I don’t agree with the woman spraying the man with mace, but it’s not that big of a nuisance and really not that hard to ignore someone using their phone in a theatre.

    As a single mom with 3 kids, I don’t make it to the movie theatre very often to see anything but G or PG rated movies, but on the rare occasion that I do, someone is watching my kids and I keep my phone ready and available in case I’m needed. If I get a text or call, I quickly check it and may respond without “stepping into the hallway” so I don’t miss the movie.

    Are we really so easily distracted and consumed with rage when someone’s little phone screen lights up for a couple minutes? That seems pretty silly to me.

    If we keep our eyes and ears on the screen, it’s not that hard to watch a movie and let people go about their business without missing important scenes, just like any other activity in our daily lives where we may need to tune out the goings-on around us.

    Just sayin. A little overkill on the “touch a cellphone in a theatre and you deserve to die” trend here…

    • Eric says:

      Jaime needs to stay the hell home!

    • CellphoneMonitor says:

      It sounds like you have never sat behind or near someone in a theatre, while they are constantly texting and receiving texts throughout a movie that you happen to be, otherwise, enjoying. The light that emanates from the phone, EVERY TIME the person texts or receives a text, and the sound of the keys during texting, is extremely distracting and constantly removes the viewer from their movie experience.

      I suppose, based on your quote, that you wouldn’t mind me kicking your seat each time you text or receive a text, because you could “keep {y}our eyes and ears on the screen”.

    • Andy says:

      Jaime – the “I don’t think I’m bothering anyone, and even if I am, they shouldn’t be bothered anyway” attitude is narcissism, plain and simple. The world does not revolve around any one person, nor said person’s children. So if you are going to take this stand, please don’t go to movie theaters, or if you must, take some classes in basic human empathy beforehand.

    • walden22 says:

      When my child is being cared for by someone else to allow me to see a film, I too have my phone at the ready in case of need, but on the one occasion I got a message, I left the theatre to check it, and would never consider using it in the screening. It’s just so rude, and IS a massive distraction to others around you. To ignore the wishes of the vast majority of other paying cinema goers is plain selfish.

      If you choose to behave in a way that I wouldn’t but it has no impact on me, then that’s fine. But the minute you impose your standards on others against their will, you’ve crossed a line.

    • Jesus says:

      You know what doesn’t matter? Anything else but the woman assaulting the dude.

  15. I know that I am in trouble when I believe that woman was looking for trouble and she was using her cell phone as a trigger. She is lucky that the theater didn’t sue her and put her behind bar.

  16. RenAndRen says:

    How long until until Hollaback and #yesallwomen claims she was ‘theater’ harassed and assaulted?

  17. I would have got the manager to get the woman to turn off her cell phone.

  18. Loren says:

    This wouldn’t have happened at The Alamo Drafthouse!

  19. StruxTravel says:

    Was she removed and set free? Hopefully she was arrested.

  20. Nunya says:

    Yeah, I would have punched that B in the face…

  21. baldrick85 says:

    Half the time from my experience alerting a disruptive patron to staff members (at least at my local theatre of choice) does nothing to resolve the situation. The last time I bothered to go request a manager step in to deal with a problem they walked into the theatre and just stood for for 20 seconds before walking back out.

    I love going to the theatre to see movies, but over the past 2-3 years I have cut down on the number of films I see due to people being ignorant. If people can’t sit quietly for a couple hours or can’t leave their cell phones in their pockets/purse and refrain from using them for the entire duration of the movie then they should just stay home! There is nothing more annoying than having people having a conversation or texting during the film.

    I hope the woman from this story doesn’t simply get away with what she did. I’m not saying she should be sued for monetary gain, but at least being charged with assault would teach her a lesson on how her actions were completely uncalled for.

  22. I must agree with Shannonblaney that she need a lesson in social etiquette. The man who got spray should have gone to the manager to get the female to turn off her cell phone. It is no wonder that most people don’t wanted to go to movie theater any more. People are waiting until the DVD become available.

  23. I hope she’s sued. She deserves to learn a BIG lesson in social etiquette.

  24. Movie Fan says:

    I was at this screening and she was clearly crazy (I was sitting in the same row as the woman but down 10-15 seats). After the guy asked her to put her phone away, she stands up, turns around and starts yelling at him that she’s going to call the police because he assaulted her. She then turned the flashlight app on her phone on and shined it directly in the guys’ face and at other people in the row behind her. Several people repeatedly tell her to turn around and be quiet but she doesn’t. She kept yelling at him and then told him she had mace in her purse and she would use it. This all happened in the back row and by now it was clearly disturbing a large portion of the theater. I saw the guy and he was clearly trying to be courteous and wasn’t being belligerent towards her at all. The weird thing was that she wasn’t just yelling at him but at several people next to him (I got the sense she was trying to bait him into grabbing her phone so she had even more of an excuse to claim victimhood).

    After about two minutes of shining her phone in his face, she takes out the mace and continues to threaten him loudly, making sure the whole theater heard her. After a moment she does spray him, even though he is sitting calmly in his seat and she is definitely being the aggressor. At this point several other audience members have already left the theater to get security however after she sprayed him, he jumps out of his seat, screaming his eyes are burning, and leaves the theater. A couple minutes later security comes in and physically removes her from the theater.

    Going to a theater these days can be really challenging given people’s obnoxious behavior. And while I don’t condone touching other people, the guy here was just trying to enjoy the movie and this woman just didn’t care about the people around her (this became even more evident when she stands up and starts screaming at him). There is no excuse for her behavior because for a good 5-10 minutes, she disrupted the whole audience from enjoying the film (at one point I actually thought they were going to shut the movie off to resolve this issue). And more surprising was that this happened at a film festival in Hollywood, where you would expect attendees would be on their best behavior.

    • I am glad that movie fan told the whole story. She would be crazy if she decide to sue the gentleman and the theater.

      • CellphoneMonitor says:

        Have you provided a statement to the police or theatre manager?

      • Allen says:

        That guy could’ve easily contacted the cops and claimed assault. He didn’t…. because he was a nice guy and she was a misandrist. I’m not saying all women are (nor am I saying most are, either). What I am saying is…. judging from the official story and from that eyewitness account right up there – she is a misandrist. And her self-entitled actions should’ve landed her in jail.

  25. Bruce Lawton says:

    There needs to be a lifetime ban on this woman from movie theaters and other public gatherings where attention is focused on the proscenium – NOT on your f$@#ing personal phone!

  26. ameadows252 says:

    If someone tapped me on the shoulder, my first reaction wouldn’t be “I need to mace this person.” What a terrible person. She must be insufferable.

  27. B says:

    The issue is that the guy touched her. Regardless of her outrageous and uncalled-for reaction with the mace, the dude ought to have kept his hands to himself and called over an usher.

    • Dave Palmer says:

      “B” people like you are part of the problem, this witch needed to go to jail. Since when does a tap on the shoulder deserve mace?.

    • joestemme says:

      The article does mention that she had been asked (without touching) several times before. She already knew she was being a pest. The ‘touching’ was just an excuse.
      Second, why should it be incumbent on the person being annoyed to have to get up, leave their seat and miss several minutes of a movie (and, perhaps crucial plot points) to go get an usher?

      The point is that cell phone abusers are becoming an epidemic now. And, they are becoming more and more belligerent when asked to do the right thing and put away their phones for a couple of measly hours! It’s the cell phone users fault. PERIOD. Recently, I asked someone to stop cruising the internet and texting on his phone and he shoved his middle finger in my face and told me that I was the A-Hole.

  28. I’d have been glad for the excuse to leave. Hard to imagine a duller premise for a film.

    • elli downer says:

      I absolutely agree, after half an hour of numerous versions of grunting I was ready to walk out. Mr. Turner was a master of oil, but if portrayed correctly, he really was a pig of a man, without manners, grace or consideration towards the women in his life. I did not enjoy this film.

  29. John Shea says:

    So much for second screen entertainment!

  30. Fin says:

    And no one else in the theater was effected by the mace? In NYC she’d a been punched in the face – even at a screening!

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