Milan man arrested following attack at Ann Arbor theater
Monday, March 22, 2004
BY AMALIE NASH
News Staff Reporter
A moviegoer was severely beaten after he shushed another man in the row behind him during a showing of "The Triplets of Belleville" at a downtown Ann Arbor theater Saturday evening, city police said.
The 51-year-old victim was hospitalized with multiple fractured ribs, a collapsed lung and several facial lacerations that required stitches, police said.
Paul Elrod, 38, of Milan, was arrested at his home that night and charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, police said.
The victim told police he and his wife were watching the movie at the State Theater at 8:30 p.m. when they were distracted by talking behind them. He said he turned and motioned for the man to quiet down, and then the man began coughing in his ear and kicking his chair, reports said.
The victim reported the man eventually spit on him and threw popcorn, so he got up, turned around and said, "Excuse me." The victim said he was punched in the face and thrown down the stairs and into a banister.
Police said the assailant then left the theater but was followed by a theater manager, who got his vehicle's license plate number, reports said. The manager said the man threatened him as he walked behind him.
Police said Elrod called a short time later and said he was attacked at the theater and defended himself, but he refused to return to the scene to speak to officers. After he was later arrested, he told police the victim came at him first, punched him and rushed at him, so he pushed the man and he accidentally fell down the stairs.
Elrod was arraigned Sunday on the felony charge and has a preliminary hearing March 31.
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