Assault charge filed after texting spat in theater

A man who was texting in a Texas movie theater claims a woman behind him who complained hit him and grabbed him so hard he got whiplash. The woman says she just touched him with a finger.

Should you have ever wished to throttle a texter in the movie theater, this might be a sobering story for you.

It seems that in a movie theater in Grapevine, Texas, a gentleman called Dale Fout felt the urge to send a text. As related by the Fort-Worth Star Telegram, the lady sitting behind him, Brenda Godwin, was a little disturbed by this self-centered rudeness.

In Godwin's version, she reportedly reached forward and tapped Fout with her finger on his shoulder. Fout allegedly found this alleged tap so preposterous that he leaped up and declared he would be charging her with assault. At least, that's Godwin's version.

You will feel stunned at taser level when I tell you that Fout has a different version. He claims the text was extremely important. (Aren't they all?) He claims he held the phone as close to his chest as possible. He also claims Godwin damaged him as if this were a car accident.

He reportedly told the Star-Telegram: "She said something. I couldn't make it out. That's why I turned. She was probably saying something like, 'Get off your phone.' I turned, and she pushed. She just happened to push my neck at the time my neck was in an awkward position. Kinda like having a little fender bender, and you get a little whiplash in your neck, you know."

Main Street in the fine, law-abiding city of Grapevine, Textas. Joe Thomas/Grapevine Texas Online

And so the police were called. Fout reportedly charged Godwin with assault.

Because the police didn't witness either the texting or the assault, they issued a misdemeanor ticket .

You will, by this stage, should you still be in possession of faculties, wonder where the texts of Texas law might stand on this texting mayhem.

The Star-Telegram helpfully offered this from the law books: "A person commits an offense if the person (...) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative."

There will be many Texans who would have hoped they were on jury duty if this case have ever gone that far. They would have surely enjoyed attempting to parse the probability that a 136-pound skin care specialist could give whiplash to a 220-pound marketing consultant.

Sadly, Godwin lives in Virginia. So she paid $260 and got out of Dodge.

There seems to be something about Texans texting in the movies. A recent and exciting incident occurred in Austin , where the Alamo Drafthouse has a fine no-tolerance policy. The young texter, having been thrown out of the theater, proceeded to offer an expletive-laden, sometimes English-free rant on the Alamo's voice mail. The Alamo used it for perhaps its finest PSA.

In that case, you might have thought that the lady in question was perhaps 18. In the Grapevine case, you might be wondering how old the two protagonists were. Well, they were both 54, reportedly

 

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