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Man Arrested After Trying To Con His Way Into Free Popcorn At A Movie Theater

Angry Birds popcorn

For many people, the movie theater experience just isn't the same without snacks. However, some people take the experience a little too seriously. Recently, a man was arrested after his failed attempt to get popcorn, for free, led to him assaulting a police officer. If only we could make these things up.

The incident took place at a movie theater in Clarksville, Tennessee, where a man by the name of Paul West allegedly became aggravated when the theater's concession stand was closed and refused to refill his popcorn bucket. Now, one could at least understand how an individual could be annoyed by this, except it needs to be pointed out that Mr. West had apparently taken an empty popcorn bucket from the trash, and thus had never paid for the popcorn in the first place. Many of the major theater chains offer free popcorn refills if you buy the largest tub, apparently, somebody else had decided to skip the refill, so the gentleman in question just figured he would pick it up himself.

However, while most people would simply realize their master plan had been thwarted and move on, Paul West did not. Upon being told he would not get his refill, WKRN reports that he threw the bucket at the theater employee, knocked over a display, and then ran off... into a theater.

While movie theaters have exits, Paul West did not use one, as police officers found him there when they arrived. West threw a trashcan at an officer and apparently punched her in the face multiple times before the officer, Jenifer Rankin, took West to the ground and restrained him. West was taken into custody and charged with assault, disorderly conduct, aggravated assault, and resisting bond.

As wonderful as movie theater popcorn can be, this seems to be an extreme reaction to not getting it. Of course, taking an empty popcorn tub out of the trash is also an extreme solution to the problem of wanting free popcorn in the first place. While movie theater snacks are certainly expensive compared to their cost outside the theater, concessions is where theaters make their money after all, popcorn isn't usually all that expensive. Since it was apparently known that this guy had taken an empty tub from the trash, it's unclear if they would have sold him any popcorn if he'd tried to get it the appropriate way. They may have just told him they were closed to try and get him to go away, not realizing how he was going to react.

While we can appreciate that many people love their movie theater snacks, maybe we can all agree to not freak out and get arrested? If you need popcorn to enjoy your movie, try buying it.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.