The 2-year-old girl kept begging her mother for popcorn during a showing of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Long Island, N.Y.
Keri Karman, 25, seated next to Harley Riggs, snapped at the toddler to keep quiet during the Jan. 2 showing at a Levittown theater, Nassau County police told The New York Daily News. When Harley’s mom, Celia Riggs, 28, told Karman not to talk to her daughter, a wild scene broke out.
Karman cursed and yelled, then clamped her hand over Harley’s mouth. She grabbed a tub of popcorn from Celia Riggs and dumped it over Harley’s head, striking the child with the empty container, the publication reported. Karman and her father, Charles Karman, 61, ran out of the theater while Celia Riggs tried to comfort her sobbing daughter, who suffered a bruise.
Nassau County Police Department detectives used surveillance video and credit card receipts to track down the Karmans, according to the Daily News.
Investigators arrested Keri Karman and Charles Karman on Friday on suspicion of endangering the welfare of a child, according to the New York Post. Charles Karman was arrested because he did nothing to stop the dust-up, police said.
A friend claimed on Facebook that Celia Riggs was the actual aggressor, attacking Keri Karman, who runs a dog-walking business, when she asked the child to be quiet, the publication reported. Celia Riggs denied that account and told the Post that the incident traumatized her daughter.
“She says, ‘My head, my head,’ when she looks at popcorn and is afraid of strangers. She’ll grab me and hide when the waiter comes up,” Riggs said.
In 2012, a Washington man punched a noisy 10-year-old in the face during a 3D re-release of “Titanic,” reported KHQ. The 21-year-old, charged with second-degree assault, said children were throwing popcorn at him and his girlfriend, but claimed he thought he had punched an adult.