Movie theater attack assaults victims' sense of security

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A trip to the movies ended with a trip to the hospital for a Topeka couple and Monday they shared their story.

One of the victims told 13 NEWS she and her husband, who was also attacked, went to see 'The Young Messiah' at Hollywood Stadium 14 on Sunday afternoon. They both asked not to be identified.

About 30 minutes into the movie, she says she 'politely' asked a man in the row ahead of them to turn off his phone - three times.

"Each time I asked him he used the F word at me and he cussed at me. So, I told my husband I said this isn't right, so I went to get a manager" she said.

She says, on the way back to her seat, she asked the man to turn out the light once more. The man refused and continued to cuss. That's when he allegedly stood up, turned around and hit her in the face.

Her husband told 13 NEWS that, "by this time my wife was face-down on the concrete and there was blood everywhere. Her glasses were broken and it was just awful."

"Her husband came to her defense and the suspect struck him as well with the same object, again unknown what that object was," TPD Lt. Colleen Stuart said.

The victims describe the objects as a three to four lb. bag. She says she suffered a broken nose, concussion and black and blue swollen face. Her husband had a gash on his head. They were both taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Topeka police say the suspect was gone when officers arrived. One of the victims said the theater told him Regal doesn't have surveillance cameras. Stuart said the next step is to see if that's true and to look to surrounding businesses for footage of the suspect.

"To get an idea or at least put it out there for someone else to assist in identifying that person," Stuart said.

Meanwhile, the victims want to put out another message - "Go in groups, know your surroundings, and take a flashlight."

They describe the suspect as a white man in his mid-40's with salt and pepper colored hair. If you have any information you're asked to contact the Topeka Police Department at (785) 368-9551.

13 NEWS reached out to Regal Cinemas, which owns the Hollywood Stadium 14, and they declined to comment.