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After paying for a movie at the Century 16 Belmar theater in Lakewood, Colorado, she was getting very annoyed when teenagers kept “crawling over seats and yelling.” Because Heather Piper and her friends had paid good money to see the movie, she respectfully told them to be quiet. When that didn’t work, she yelled at them and told them to “shush.” But that didn’t work. Then another movie goer got security and only then did the teenagers calm down. Heather Piper was pleased. The theater was quiet as it should be. She forgot about the teens and enjoyed the movie. But they didn’t forget about her. And they wanted revenge. So after the movie, they got into position and waited for Heather to leave the theater. And when she did, they allegedly assaulted her. They were brutal. They punched her in the face and left her with bruises, lacerations and a broken nose. She was rushed to the hospital after the assault.
Heather had simply wanted the teenagers to respect her and the other people who had paid top dollar to get into the theater. Because they were “acting out of control” and were “crawling over seats and yelling,” she spoke up to make them quiet.
The group ignored her request no matter how respectful she was. That’s when she got angry and shouted at them to “shush.”
When security came, the teens started behaving. But when Heather was leaving the theater, she was ambushed.
“She was screaming and just punched me on the side of the head,” Piper said.
As she was beaten to a pulp, Heather’s friends ran inside for help.
Heather Piper was confused. She hardly remembered the confrontation from the start of the movie. And she had no idea why she was being victimized. During the beating, she asked her teenage abuser why she was being assaulted. But this only set the teens off more.
“She lost it, she said. “She started hitting me again and then started crying saying, “Well you called me ghetto.’”
As if the beating jogged her memory, Heather remembered that she had used the derogatory term. Because she had lost her cool during the confrontation at the start of the movie, she had called the teens ‘ghetto’ and insulted them.
But as she was being beaten and punched across her face, Heather made the choice not to fight back. Because she is a foster parent, she was scared she’d lose her license if she beat up a teenage girl.
After the teens had made their point, Piper was taken to the hospital. She was covered in her own blood and was treated for a broken nose.
Now police are looking for the teen. Because she ran away from the crime scene after she had beaten Heather into submission, the police are looking for surveillance footage to help identify her.
The teen was a heavyset black girl presumed to be between the ages of 16 and 20.
What do you think about this confrontation? Should Heather Piper have called the girl ‘ghetto?’
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