A woman and her father were arrested on suspicion of endangering the welfare of a child when during a visit to the movie theater a young girl allegedly began making noise, and the woman reportedly dumped popcorn on the little one’s head and hit her with the empty bucket.
On January 2, Celia Riggs and her family visited the AMC movie theater in Levittown, Long Island, for a showing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Riggs was accompanied by her husband Scottie, their three children, and her mother for the outing. Riggs and her clan chose their seats armed with their concessions.
25-year-old Keri Karman and her 61-year-old father Charles were seated next to Riggs and her family, and Karman was sitting directly next to Riggs’ 2-year-old daughter, Harley.
Riggs stated that while watching the film Harley said “popcorn,” requesting a snack. Karman allegedly became upset by the child’s vocal disturbance and told her to quiet down. Riggs then reportedly asked Karman to refrain from speaking to her daughter.
Karman is said to have responded by yelling obscenities at Riggs and her toddler and putting her hand on Harley’s face. Riggs alleged that Karman was also holding her middle finger up against the child. Karman then reached around Riggs and grabbed a popcorn bucket, dumping the contents on top of Harley’s head and striking her with the empty container. After the encounter Karman and her dad left the theater through the fire exit door as Harley continued to cry.
Riggs removed Harley from the theater and held her until the authorities arrived to take a report of the incident. Responding police noted that the little girl had visibly suffered a bruise on her head.
Keri and Charles Karman were located by police through credit card records and surveillance video from the theater and they were taken into custody on March 2. They were each charged with one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child and released with citations to appear in court. Authorities have not disclosed the reason that the charges have been filed at this time rather than directly following the report of the episode.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child endangerment, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.