Thursday, July 29, 2004

Two Pepper Sprayed Over Phone Call At Fla. Movie

local6.com - News - Two Pepper Sprayed Over Phone Call At Fla. Movie:

T. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A college student who took a cell phone call from her mother in a movie theater was pepper sprayed by an officer and charged with disorderly conduct, along with her boyfriend.
Warronnica Harris, 23, was at the Muvico theater at BayWalk Saturday night, watching the opening credits to Catwoman when her cell phone rang.

"It was my mom calling me," Harris said. "It was a family emergency."

Harris said she spoke so quietly that her mother couldn't hear her. Then Officer John Douglas shone a flashlight in her eyes.

He asked Harris and her boyfriend, Terrell "KC" Tolson, 25, to leave. He pushed Harris in the hallway, then pepper sprayed both of them in the lobby, the couple said. Neither Harris nor Tolson has a criminal record.

Police denied their account, saying Harris refused to end her cell phone conversation, yelled at the Douglas and refused to leave the theater. Her boyfriend also refused to leave and threatened the officer, police said.

Witnesses said the pair did nothing wrong.

Marcia Gray, a 49-year-old Tampa accountant, was in the lobby when the couple were pepper sprayed.

"The man turned and asked the officer why he was making them leave and the cop just maced him in the face," Gray said. "They weren't yelling or touching him. The man bent over and the girl asked why he maced her boyfriend. Then the cop maced her, and she dropped her