Twin boys found guilty in Christmas night melee at Bradenton movie theater

BRADENTON -- Two brothers today were found guilty of assault charges related to a Christmas night melee at a Bradenton movie theater.

The 15-year-old boys were found guilty of assault and battery for an attack on a U.S. Marine and his wife outside the Carmike Royal Palm 20 theaters off U.S. 301.

The Bradenton Herald is not naming the boys because of their age.

Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas, who decided the case after a day-long trial in juvenile court, will set punishment for the boys next month.

Kalyn Freire opened testimony by describing what happened after she and her husband left the theaters on Dec. 25. One of the boys, who was not wearing a shirt, came up to the couple and told Federico Freire, a U.S. Marine, "I'm going to punch your wife," Kalyn Freire said.

Freire said the next thing she knew, she was on the ground.

She said she suffered a cracked jaw, bruising and cuts inside her mouth. Photographs taken a few hours after the incident and shown in court today showed Kalyn Freire with a swollen face.

Later, Federico Freire -- who was wearing his full dress Marine uniform, including white gloves -- testified that he was hit about 15 times in the face by a group of seven or eight youth. After being knocked to the ground, he was kicked twice, Freire said.

Before the alleged assault, the Freires had had a run-in with a group of a youths who they said were being loud and unruly inside a theater auditorium showing the movie, "The Little Fockers." Kalyn Freire complained to management and the youth were removed from the theater.

The couple left shortly after.

Theater management asked more of the teens to leave and when they refused, deputies were called.

As the couple exited the theater just before 10 p.m., Kayln Freire was surrounded by about 15 girls who appeared like they were going to attack her, Federico Freire told the Bradenton Herald in December.

A witness told Freire that 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, according to a Manatee County Sheriff's He was struck across the left side of his face.

“I got back up to defend myself and they started running everywhere,” he told the Herald.

A crowd of about 100 people began to form.

When Freire looked to his wife, he said he saw a young male with his shirt off punch her in the face, knocking her out.

Freire said he went after the youth and the witness brandished his gun, telling the crowd to step back.

Deputies arrived shortly thereafter.

As deputies were investigating, the manager of the theater asked anyone without a ticket to leave.

When a deputy asked 16-year-old Ishmael Dunbar to leave several times, the teenager refused and struck the deputy, according to the sheriff’s office.

At one point, Destiny McNeil, 20, a relative of Dunbar, attempted to intervene in the arrest and was arrested herself, the release said.

A 16-year-old girl later filed a criminal complaint alleging that Federico Freire had hit her during the melee. The sheriff's office did not pursue the case, saying there were inconsistencies in the girl's statements.

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