New York Couple Charged After Allegedly Dumping Of Popcorn On Head Of Two-Year-Old Girl In Movie Theater

1520151417621Keri Karman, 25, and Charles Karman, 61, were reportedly irritated by a two-year-old in a movie that kept asking for popcorn.  Karman allegedly responded to the demand (and an argument with the mother) by dumping a bucket of popcorn on the child.  They are now charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

They were watching“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” when things went from the theatrical to the criminal.

Police say that a woman next to the child tried to quiet the child, but the 28-year-old mother told her not to speak to her child.  The facts are a bit sketchy but it appears that the mother accused Karman of starting to scream and putting her hand over the little girl’s mouth. The couple then left the movie after the child began to cry.

According to press reports, Keri Karman runs a dog walking service called Keri’s South Shore Dog Walking and pledges that she is “your pet’s second best friend.”  That may not be a true for children as canines.

This is a misdemeanor in New York and the statutory language is quite general and easy to satisfy for actions taken against any child below the age of 17:

260.10 Endangering the welfare of a child.

A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child when:

1. He or she knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than seventeen years old or directs or authorizes such child to engage in an occupation involving a substantial risk of danger to his or her life or health; or

2. Being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than eighteen years old, he or she fails or refuses to exercise reasonable diligence in the control of such child to prevent him or her from becoming an “abused child,” a “neglected child,” a “juvenile delinquent” or a “person in need of supervision,” as those terms are defined in articles ten, three and seven of the family court act.

3. A person is not guilty of the provisions of this section when he or she engages in the conduct described in subdivision one of section 260.00 of this article: (a) with the intent to wholly abandon the child by relinquishing responsibility for and right to the care and custody of such child; (b) with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner; (c) the child is left with an appropriate person, or in a suitable location and the person who leaves the child promptly notifies an appropriate person of the child’s location; and (d) the child is not more than thirty days old.

Endangering the welfare of a child is a class A misdemeanor.

NY Penal L § 260.10 (2015)

In reality, the misdemeanor endangerment charge may not be higher than an assault charge if it is brought in the third degree, which is also a class A misdemeanor.  Assault in the Third Degree under NY PL 120.00(1) can be brought for intentional acts to cause some physical injury or reckless acts under New York Penal Law section 120.00(2) that cause such injury.  However, second degree assault is a Class D felony.  More importantly, there is a Class E felony assault charge for any aggravated assault on a minor under the age 11.

It appears that the prosecutors do not view a popcorn dump as rising to that level and view a misdemeanor charge as sufficient to punish this couple and deter others.

What do you think?

43 thoughts on “New York Couple Charged After Allegedly Dumping Of Popcorn On Head Of Two-Year-Old Girl In Movie Theater”

  1. Is poor Charlie getting punished for stage 1 of the kubler-ross syndrome or did he hit the child as well? Is he being punished for running like Forest or did he do something? I bet alot of people would run.

      1. Can you articulate any actual harm or endangerment this child allegedly suffered?

          1. You are correct, this is a criminal matter. I should have paid better attention to the source’s citation of the bruise. The assault element is certainly met by that.

            1. Darren Smith – how do we know the bruise is from the patron and not from the parent trying to silence the child? I have never seen a child with a bruised mouth from someone putting their hand over it to silence the child. For all we know, the mother could have backhanded the child later, causing the bruise.

  2. “260.10 Endangering the welfare of a child.

    A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child when:..”

    This is a joke, right?

    60 million babies killed by abortion since 1973.

    The American birthrate is in a “death spiral.”

    Global anti-colonialist, anti-American collectivists import a population of hyphenates.

    Citizens may kill their babies but they cannot be found to be “…endangering the welfare of a child…”

    The state is doing a great job with the state babies that the state imports and the state babies that the state allows to live.

    Looks like America has suffered through a “fundamentally transforming” invasion and coup d’etat.

    “Vive l’international communiste!”

  3. Ah, for the times when going to the movies was something to look forward to. The interiors were decorated like palaces. The seats were plush velour. People were quiet or spoke in hushed tones. There was a collective calm when the films started. Pathe News, Trailers, Coming Attractions, Cartoons; the coming and going to the concession and bathroom took place during; then the Main Feature. Rarely would anyone get up or make noise. Sometimes, at the end, the audience clapped, if the movie merited it. Everyone left the momentary community and went out to their lives, tossing about the strong and weak points of the movie.

    I stopped going when the a**holes started texting, talking on their cellphones, generally being a**holes. When they make it impossible to get cell phone reception in a movie theatre, perhaps????

  4. The screaming and noise should have been addressed–immefiately–by the cinema’s employee. . .you know, the stoned-out, high, pimple-faced teenager, with his bangs hanging in his eyes and charged with monitoring and keeping patrons quiet in the area reserved for patrons viewing the film and paying a fortune to simply sit in bedbug infested seats, with their feet glued to sticky floors. Yes. I believe that paying to view a film involves responsibilities on the part of the cinema or theater, as well. Going to see a film, at a cinema, is supposed to be a treat. A pleasure. Fun. Two individuals, after paying for tickets, popcorn, soda and candy, are shelling out fifty bucks, or more. The cinema, in my opinion, failed in its duty to the patrons, in that it did not provide or maintain an environment in which patrons could even hear the film being projected–something that comes along with a paid ticket. The ability to see and hear the film. Should this woman have dumped popcorn on the brat’s head? No. Should the father, who was simply there, in a dark theater, alongside his daughter, have been photographed and charged with any crime? No. Should the cinemas need to step up their game, where they provide a safe, clean environment, where patrons can hear and view the attraction without distraction? You betcha. Gladiator fights should not be breaking out in the seats because problems, such as noise, are not being promptly addressed by the venue.

  5. What a complete mess.

    First, if it’s not a crime to bring a disruptive 2 year old to a Star Wars movie, rated PG-13, then it should be. The couple should have exited their seats and informed a manager that a child was disrupting the movie. The mother and child would have been asked to leave. Grownups do not dump popcorn on the heads to toddlers for acting like toddlers.

    The mother was at fault for bringing a child that was too young into a movie and ruining it for everyone else.

    The couple was at fault for dumping food from the bowl they’d been eating out of on the head of a child, which is gross. If it is true, Karman should never have put her hands on the child’s mouth. Small children are smothered every year by oblivious people who think they are just shushing them. If she’s crying, her nose is plugged up and she can’t breathe through it. Cover her mouth long enough, and she’ll smother. That said, I sincerely doubt that the woman held her hand there that long, but I do not know.

    I consider dumping popcorn terribly rude, and juvenile, but not an assault. If she held her hand over the child’s mouth for an extended period of time, endangering her, then that would be.

    I think il fiasco was mishandled from start to finish, including the charges. All four of them should have been ejected from the movie theater, and all 3 adults reprimanded.

    1. Well said, Karen.

      What in the world was the mother thinking bringing a 2-year-old to a PG-13 movie?!

  6. Wrong ones charged. The parent/s -for not controlling their child.

  7. What happens under real stress? Stress that comes with job loss, personal serious health issues or older and younger family members that need us for years. Where are the coping mechanisms? The man is of an age that he should have been able to help the younger woman. Where is the self control?

  8. If the allegations are correct, and the woman put her hands on the child ( covering her mouth), dumped popcorn on the child and then smacked her in the head with he popcorn container then would that not be a battery charge ?

    Apparently she likes animals ( dogs) better than people or should be also watched for her treatment of those animals left in her charge.

    Another sign of the increase in violent acts in society.

    on another note, this theater is an AMC Dine – in theater. We don’t have any of those in my neck of the woods, but the concept sounds horrible for true movie lovers – food and beverage delivery to your seat during the movie — I’ll have some lobster ravioli with my Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, not.

  9. “That’s when the trouble started. Police said Karman [the adult woman] placed her hand over the child’s mouth, dumped some popcorn on her and struck her on the head with the container, making the child cry.”

    There’s nothing at either of the two links to indicate the 61 year old male Karman did anything to the child. It says he was charged because he failed to “intercede” to control his 25 year old daughter.

    That is surreal.

    His 25 year old adult daughter has free will. She alone is responsible for her conduct. She violated the child’s liberty. She alone should be charged. It looks to me like her father is being unjustly charged. Railroaded.

    Meanwhile, the mother of the two year old DOES have a legal duty to properly supervise her child. She failed to do so. She failed to prevent her child from interfering in the paying couples right to enjoy the film.
    BTW, I’m not trying to suggest the toddler’s mother should be charged with anything. I am only noting she breached her duty to properly supervise her child, and that breach prevented the other paying customer from enjoying the film.

    There is something wrong with people that they can not resolve a minor dispute between themselves. Was the theater sold out of seats? Could either of the two parties move to other seats? Or complain to the manager and request a refund? Instead, it was allowed to escalate so that a 25 year old woman loses control and assaults a child. Then the authorities spend two months investigating it and end up unjustly charging the man. So many travesties.

    1. Scott – thanks for pointing that out. I did not see where she struck the child on the head with the popcorn container.

  10. A father and his child were in the waiting room while the mother was getting some sort of radiation exam, x-ray or ct scan. The child was running wildly around the room, screaming, jumping up on and running across the seats, and playing with the hand sanitizer dispenser by squirting it on his hands and on the floor. He eventually managed to knock the container off onto the floor, causing a massive spill. The friend who was accompanying me gave the father a sort of stern look, and the father shrugged and said aloud, “What can I do? He won’t do what I tell him to.”

    1. Good grief! I hope that spineless “father” someday stumbles upon Jordan Peterson and discovers he had better sort himself out and put his house in order pronto.

  11. If someone had ever done this to my child, I would be the one facing assault charges. This is one area where bringing a lawsuit or pressing charges is insufficient feedback to modify the behavior of the perpetrator.

    1. What about what the mother did to the entire audience trying to hear the movie? You have no problem with that? How about parents who take their little ones to R-rated movies? The mother here was provoking and aggressive. I would have called the usher to eject her and her child.
      When we could not afford a babysitter, my husband and I took turns going to movies or taking the kids to movies that were appropriate for them.

  12. Sounds right. You don’t go after the child; they should have dumped the popcorn on the mother and then pleaded that the tub slipped when they tried to contribute to shut the whining, spoiled, brat up. Then demanded their money back from the theatre citing the mother-daughter circus as the reason. The mother daughter could have been kicked out; it’s not a plane.

    1. Of course it sounds right,…/em> to you. A 2 year old is disrupting your movie experience, so the first option is to assault the mother and lie to the authorities. Then demand a refund. So much for the compassionate Left.

  13. No cause to attack a two year old child – they are about as sentient as a cat, and probably not as aware of consequences.

    But the mother should have either quieted the child or taken out of the theater.

    Parents are a remarkably tolerant group and tend to let their kids carry on without regard for others. I suppose that you have to learn to be somewhat oblivious in your house (otherwise you go crazy or your kids develop into broken spirited adults).

    But a movie theater is a different place – we go there (and pay a lot – especially in NY) in the expectation of a pleasant experience focused on the movie. We do not go there to listen to a child demand popcorn; the mother owed the Karmans the courtesy of allowing them (and others) to enjoy the show in peace.

    Both sides are wrong, but the Karmans will pay the price for their behavior (it starts with the shaming, the Karmans are named, but the mother who failed to respect the quiet of the theater remains unknown). The mother will dine out on her outrage and victimhood for years.

    Basic moral of the story, if somebody’s behavior is so egregious that retaliation is called for (in your eyes), then be smart and act in a legal way or at least in a way that does not invite legal action). The Karmans are going to be punished as much for violating society’s norms as for the actual act (I would guess that the child is unharmed by a few ounces of popcorn falling on her head).

    1. What Steve said. This is why I never go to see movies anymore – small children & folks w/ cell phones.

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