PHILADELPHIA – A man enraged by a noisy family sitting near him in a movie theater on Christmas night shot the father of the family in the arm, police said.
James Joseph Cialella, 29, of Philadelphia, faces six charges that include attempted murder and aggravated assault. He remained in custody Saturday.
Police said Cialella told the man's family to be quiet, then threw popcorn at the man's son. The victim, whom television reports identified as Woffard Lomax, told police that Cialella was walking toward his family when he stood up and was shot.
Detectives called to the United Artists Riverview Stadium theater in South Philadelphia found Cialella carrying the weapon, a .380-caliber handgun, in his waistband, police said.
Lt. Frank Vanore called the incident "scary that it gets to that level of violence from being too noisy during a movie."
Lomax, 31, of Yeadon, was released from a hospital after the shooting. He declined to comment when contacted by phone Saturday.
It was not immediately known whether Cialella had a lawyer or whether bail had been set. A woman who answered a call to his home number Saturday declined to comment.
A theater manager referred calls to Regal Entertainment Group spokesman Dick Westerling, who did not immediately return a phone message Saturday.
Police could not confirm what movie was playing in the theater, but The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that it was "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
I saw this very same movie with my lovely friends Bonny, Carol, Jamie, and Sabrina yesterday. It was quite good (especially Brad Pitt), except for the guy sitting behind me. He crunched his nachos obnoxiously loud, he kicked my chair every 5 minutes, and about halfway through the movie decided to rummage through his popcorn bag like he'd lost his keys in it. And with every handful of popcorn, it was preceded with a rustle, rummage, rattle, crackle. Seriously? I paid $5 to see this movie, not to be annoyed by you. If you can't behave in public like a normal human being, DON'T LEAVE YOUR HOUSE. Stay home. Rummage in your popcorn bag all you want from your own couch.
I turned and looked his direction several times, hoping he'd take the hint. Nope. So I then turned and said, 'shhhhh.' No luck. Finally, after clenching and unclenching my fist several times, I turned in my seat and said, "Seriously? Enough with the popcorn bag already. Put it away!!" You'd think that would have done the trick. You would be wrong. I almost lost it. It's a damn good thing he high-tailed it out of there when the credits started rolling. And if I'd been packing heat like Mr. Cialella, I might have spent the night in jail.
That's why I don't go to movies very often. It's really for the safety of the other patrons. Where has common courtesy gone?
Oh, one more thing. If you can't get through a two hour movie without checking your phone 65 times, you have a serious problem.