MANATEE – A Marine and his wife were attacked outside a movie theatre Christmas night after asking a group of teens to be quiet during a movie.
The attack escalated into an fracus attracting approximately 300 bystanders. As a result, four teens and an adult were arrested, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reports.
Federico Freire, 27, who is on leave from Afghanistan, went to the movies at the Carmike Royal Palm 20, 5125 26th St. E., to see "Little Fockers" with his wife Kayln.
Freire said a group of about 20 teens were being obnoxious and loud during the movie. When they were asked to be quiet, some of teens began cussing. Kayln Freire went to find a manager and the youths were asked to leave. The couple left shortly afterwards.
Never miss a local story.
“We were just so aggravated. We thought, ‘Forget this, we’re out of here,’” Federico Freire said during an interview Monday.
As they exited the theatre just before 10 p.m., Kayln Freire was surrounded by about 15 girls who looked as if they were going to attack her, Federico Freire said.
A witness said he had a firearm in his vehicle and offered to escort the couple to safety. Federico Freire said he told his wife to go with the witness to get her out of harm’s way.
Seven males then surrounded Federico Freire and began to kick and punch him.
“I got back up to defend myself and they started running everywhere,” he said. A crowd of more than 100 people began to form.
When Freire looked over at his wife, he saw a young male with his shirt off who punched her in the face, knocking her out. Freire went after the youth and the witness brandished his gun telling the crowd to step back.
Deputies soon arrived. As deputies were investigating, the manager of the theater asked anyone without a ticket to leave.
When a deputy asked one juvenile to leave several times, the teenager refused and hit the deputy, the release said.
At one point, Destiny McNeil, 20, a relative of the juvenile attempted to intervene in the arrest and was arrested herself, the release said. Another male juvenile also hit the same deputy in the arm and resisted arrest after he was asked to leave the area.At that point, there were about 300 people involved in the incident.
All available deputies were asked to come out to the theater to help restore order to the area, the release said. The manager then shut down the theatre.
“I’m fine. My wife’s face is all swollen up. She’s got cuts in the inside of her mouth. I was able to defend myself pretty good because of my training, but I was more worried about her,” Freire said.
The situation is under investigation by the sheriff’s office and the charges and names of the juveniles who were arrested have not been released. Their ages range from 15 to 17-years-old, deputies said.
McNeil was charged with resisting arrest without violence and was released from Manatee County jail Sunday on a $750 bond.
For more information, read the detailed story in Tuesday's Bradenton Herald.