Real Life Combat: Vet and Wife Mobbed at Theater

Marine Vet Freire and His Wife

An Iraq vet and his wife were recently assaulted outside a movie theater in Florida.

He made it home from the Iraq war just in time for Christmas. She was looking forward to a night out with her husband after so much time apart.

But a group of teenagers had other plans for Federico and Kalyn Freire, who were assaulted outside a Florida movie theater after asking the teens to be quiet during a movie on Christmas Day.

Federico Freire, a 28-year-old Marine, and Kalyn Freire were attacked after the couple attended a showing of “Little Fockers” on Saturday in Bradenton, Fla.

“The saddest part about it was that this was our first date night together in a long time,” Freire’s wife, Kalyn, said in an interview Wednesday with “We were just looking to spend some time together.”

Freire, a Florida native stationed at Camp Pendelton in California, said he and his wife asked a group of “obnoxiously loud” teenagers talking on cell phones to “be quiet” during the 8:20 p.m. movie.

“This was my first time back in town from my tour in Iraq,” he said.

Freire said that when the disturbance escalated and the group began cursing, his wife called the manager, who asked several of the teenagers to leave the theater.

The couple said they thought the fracas was over until they walked out of the theater and were assaulted by a mob of menacing teenagers.

“On our way out of the movie theater, my wife gets surrounded with about 10 to 15 girls that were about to attack her,” Freire told “As soon as I saw this I immediately ran and got her out of harm’s way.”

Freire said he was kicked and punched as he and his wife tried to run from the group.

“I leaned down to grab my purse and there were literally 100 teens around us,” Kalyn Freire said, “While the manager was in the corner with his mouth open and not doing anything.”

Freire said one bystander stepped forward and told the couple to follow him to his car, saying he could scare the crowd off with a gun. But before the two reached the man’s vehicle, one of the teenagers said, “I’m going to knock your wife out,” before punching Freire’s wife to the ground, the couple said.

Deputies from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene and arrested two 15-year-old brothers and charged them with misdemeanor battery.

According to a police report, three others — 16-year-old Ishmael Dunbar, 17-year-old Reginald Gardner and 20-year-old Destiny McNeil — were arrested and charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer and trespassing.

“All available units were requested to respond to disperse the crowd for officer safety and to restore order,” the police report said. One teenager was stunned by a Taser.

Authorities said the fight attracted about 300 bystanders.

A video of the arrest is here.

It makes your blood boil.

I don’t want to second-guess this vet, but this does bring up the issue of “Back with Reinforcements.” This is where it goes wrong for the master of “The World’s Deadliest Art.” Confronted by a punk at a party, the master of The World’s Deadliest Art counters the punk’s right haymaker and decks him. The young hoodlum regains consciousness a minute later and finds himself lying on the shag carpet. His friends help him stagger outside, and he leaves in disgrace.

Another victory for the master of The World’s Deadliest Art, right?

Not so fast. There are so many ways this scenario can go wrong.

  • The humiliated punk in the meantime has driven home, got the handgun out from under his mom’s bed, and comes back to the party, riddling Mr. Master with lead.

  • Maybe he’s too scared to go into the party and confront the guy who whipped him, so he just sprays the apartment with bullets from the parking lot.

  • He is waiting outside with a crowbar or a butcher knife as Mr. Master leaves an hour and 3 beers later. Mr. Master never sees the punk waiting on the other side of the door.

  • Now 12 of his gangbanger buddies are waiting outside. That your wife, girlfriend, or daughter is with you is not a concern for them, but icing on the cake.

  • You leave the party, only to find your car has had its tires slashed, the sides keyed, and a headlight smashed. Consider yourself lucky.

These scenarios are not just idle speculation. Only yesterday I was reading about a similar situation:

Not long ago I was involved in a discussion about a young biker who had been blown off his barstool by a shotgun blast. What had disturbed me is that he had been involved in an altercation in the bar earlier and had not withdrawn, thereby signing his death warrant. However, an Australian bouncer rightfully commented that the ages between 18 and 24 is where these kinds of lifesaving¬† lessons tend to be learned — and those who don’t learn them, or aren’t lucky, never get any older. It is only the young and inexperienced who make certain kinds of mistakes.

If you ever have to confront somebody, whether it is physical or verbal, it is time to leave. Especially the guy who backs down and doesn’t fight –he may be looking for a way to get the odds in his favor. Remember, punks are not looking for a fair fight; if they were looking for a fair fight they’d be in boxing.

At the very least, if you leave the movie theater (restaurant, party, etc.) under these circumstances, you need to be in a state of high alert, with your weapon ready (yet concealed). That may mean having a grip on my knife in my pocket, or opening the knife and carrying it concealed in a popcorn bucket, or wrapped in a menu or newspaper.

It makes sense to carry a maglight to the theater, so that at the least is one weapon in your favor.


8 Responses to “Real Life Combat: Vet and Wife Mobbed at Theater”

  1. As an adult male before any training I was swarmed once and had another occasion where I stepped between a friend and a guy who pushed him. The group of youths were a mix of guys and girls. While my confrontation was just with one guy, all the others just stood there and thought nothing of their friend roundhouse kicking a guy. I stood there and too several kicks to the side before one tall guy finally stepped in and said, “Let the guy go”.

    Even before this I remember an article by Jack Hoban in Fight Stars ninja magazine talking about keeping your mouth shut because we all gotta sleep sometime, meaning that there will be plenty of times in our lives where we will be distracted by what’s going on in our life, or weak from illness or injury, or with our kids. That one article, more than anything else I’ve learned in the martial arts, has stuck in my mine.

    One day I was riding a bicycle home when a kid of about 15 threw a stick at my wheel from and ally and I got pissed off because if it had gone through the wheel I could have crashed. I stopped the bike and confronted him with 3 other younger kids with him. When I thought things were going well I got back on my bike but they started running after me and that is when the chain fell off my bike! I was still a head of them but they were following me and I didn’t want them to know where I lived but knew they lived close to me because of the area we were in (close to home). A guy called out from a house and says he’ll call the cops so the kids run down towards the Projects confirming that they lived in the area.

    What was going through my head? With my training I was pretty sure I could take the 15 year old but what of the 3 younger kids with him, the youngest of which looked to be about 8 or 10. If I got into a fight with the oldest guy I could not control the other 3 jumping in and I would risk hurting young kids even if it was just a push, so I would be screwed in either of 2 ways: 1. Their older brothers would be out looking for me, and/or 2. their parents would have the cops after me for hurting their “prefect” kid.

    If you have no choice but to fight for your life then fight, but if you can stop a situation from becoming a fight in the first place you are better off.

  2. James,

    How would you handle the theater scene? Teens near you are loud, have cellphones going off and cellphone conversations.

    Do you ask them to please be quiet? Or just leave and report it to the manager on the way out? Maybe just write off the theater for the future?

    What would you do if you’d had that confrontation (“Excuse me, would you please be quiet?” “F*&^ you, old man!”) in the theater?

  3. Funny enough Darrin I and my wife had a similar experience while going to a movie last year. It was a saturday night and we decided what the hell, lets go see a flick. MY mom came over to watch the kiddos so we felt finally, a night out. We went to the theatre around the corner from us and were standing in the lobby line waiting to purchase our tickets when we noticed a group of 7 to 10 teenagers (both boys and girls) acting stupid, being loud and trying to bully other patrons. Sure enough they made their way towards our line and started acting all hard and brash… wife was in front of me (as usual) her safest place when the ring leader of this troupe decided to play stupid. He circled in front of the line and right beside my wife placing his hand in front of her , ordering her to stop as he and his crew wanted to get back in line. According to him we were in their spot. ERRR Wrong answer. While his friends were a good 4-5 ft back watching, cheering and genuinely being idiots he made his crucial mistake…he placed his hand on my wife’s breast and attempted to push her back saying ” Back Up B****”..that was the last thing he said that evening. His hoody made for a wonderful handle…I simply grabbed it jerked him towards me and right into a right hand which split him wide open…he crumpled to the floor as I maintained my grip on the hoody…I told the man in front of us to go outside and get SAPD . The other kids were literally shocked….they didn’t have a clue as what to do..all I ehard was, “Dude he was playing”..or the “We’re gonna kick your ass”…I had my blade ready as my right hand was firmly on it while it was clipped in my right pocket. My words to them were simple…”FUCK OFF or I am gonna kill this little mother fucker”…sure enough they started becoming kids all of a sudden…the game changed when the seriousness got real, tough guy laments turned into pleas to not hurt their wankster friend. THe cops rushed in and arrested the guy who touched my wife…and one other kid who continually was being mouthy..the rest were escorted off the property. My wife and I decided to call it a night as it wasn’t beneficial to wait a couple hours and see what goes down. So in closing..if your gonna do something, fucking do it..end it with ruthless violence ..scare the fuck out of these little wanksters…keep your weaponry on time and ready to go…don’t fake, don’t talk shit, don’t it if you gotta…that is what gains results…hurt someone and the game changes. And NO I don’t give a shit if your 15..if you touch myw ife, threaten me and mine..come for me and mine etc..I am gonna fuck you up..and if it takes putting a bullet innyou..SO FUCKING BE IT! …Tired of wanna be tough guy kiddies….BAG BACK!

    • Michael,

      Man, what a story! Thanks for sharing.

      I see one of the miscreants in the Florida case filed a complaint. Everything’s fine while they intimidate or stomp innocent people, but once the tables are turned suddenly they are “victims,” “boys,” “youths,” etc.

      Your example is really a master class in how to handle this type of incident.

  4. Darrin, I am not a violent man and I tend to think of myself as tolerant but when some little sawed off sumbitch touches my wife that all goes out the window. Seems movie going on a Saturday night is a no-go…theaters filled with young hoods with no place else to go. We avoid it by going to matinees now when kids are in school. Avoidance is much better than laying idiots out..not quiet as fun, but better…LOL….Happy New Year mate….let me know if you need one of the old mans Skull Duster walking sticks…got some left!

  5. […] story also echoes my previous post concerning the “Back with Reinforcements” syndrome. So you’re a 22 year old grandmaster of the world’s deadliest art, and […]

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