Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

"Triplets of Belleville" Assault on Trial

26. October 2004 • Murph
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Some may remember that, back in March, “Triplets of Belleville” was demonstrated to incite violence in the populace when one theatregoer sent another to the hospital after being “shushed”. That case is now on trial at the Washtenaw County Circuit Court.

From the Ann Arbor News, Trial opens in theatre fight:

Eisenbach told jurors he went to see “The Triplets of Belleville” on March 20, and Elrod arrived after the movie began.

That’s when the “shush” occurred.

Eisenbach testified that Elrod kicked the back of his chair off and on during the movie, he also heard coughing behind him and felt air blowing onto his hair.

Toward the end of the movie, Eisenbach said he felt something hit the back of his neck. Assuming it was the man behind him, Eisenbach testified that he stood up, and asked the person behind him, “Excuse me, what’s your problem?”

Eisenbach said the man grabbed “the front of my shirt at my collar and he jammed his fist in my throat and hit me.”

Eisenbach suffered multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung after Elrod allgedly knocked him down a flight of stairs in the theatre. Elrod’s lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Laura Graham, says the incident was a “misunderstanding and two individuals not being able to communicate.” She maintains that Elrod did not intend great bodily harm.

Who says art films don’t have enough action?

UPDATE, 27 Oct: Today’s News presents the defendant’s story, Accused ‘shusher’ says he defended himself. The incorrect headline (The “shusher” presented yesterday; this is the “shushee”) is a good indication of the muddling of the issues:

Both the defense and prosecuting attorneys noted that Elrod’s testimony was contrary to that of other trial witnesses. When Elrod’s defense attorney, Washtenaw County Assistant Public Defender Laura Graham asked him whether he realized that his testimony was inconsistent with others, Elrod answered: “All I know is, I’m telling the truth.”

In her cross-examination of Elrod, Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecutor Dianna Collins asked: “Are you sure you were in the same theater as the other 10 witnesses we heard?”

The defendant, Eisenbach, claims he feared Elrod was going to stab him, and that Elrod’s injurys were the accidental result of self-defense.