Prosecutors charge Auburn man for punching boy at Kent theater

A 21-year-old Auburn man was charged with second-degree assault for allegedly hitting a 10-year-old boy in the face during an altercation at a Kent movie theater.

King County prosecutors charged Yong Hyun Kim on May 16 with second-degree assault in connection with the April 11 incident at the AMC Kent Station theater on Ramsay Way.

Kim is scheduled to be arraigned May 31 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. He was booked into the Kent city jail April 12 and released later that day.

If convicted as charged, Kim faces a sentence range of three to nine months in jail, according to Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

The boy told police he was inside the theater watching a movie with friends when a man with long hair, wearing a hat and 3D glasses, stepped over a row of seats and told the boy that he paid a lot of money to see this movie, according to charging papers.

Kim reportedly then struck the boy in the face with a closed fist, causing the boy's nose to bleed and knocking a tooth out. Three friends of the boy also witnessed the incident.

Officers in response to a report of an assault at AMC Kent Station, located Kim in the theater. Kim told them a group of people were being loud and throwing popcorn that hit him and his girlfriend. He said he stepped over a row of seats to tell them to be quiet and stop throwing popcorn. He said the group laughed at him and did not quiet down. He added he then hit one of the subjects with an open hand.

When officers asked Kim if he knew he hit a 10-year-old boy, he hung his head down and said he thought the person was a grown man. Officers took him to the city jail.

Kim later told a detective he became angry when the group laughed at him after he told them to be quiet. He said he became so angry he swung his arm at one of them.

"I got so mad it just happened," Kim said.

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