Long Island

Angry NY Moviegoer Squeezes Manager's Neck, Attacks Teen Employee Who Steps in: Cops

The East Islip resident faces charges including child endangerment and assault


A 55-year-old customer has been arrested for allegedly grabbing the neck of a Long Island movie theater employee in the cinema parking lot -- and gouging the eye of a 16-year-old employee who tried to intervene, Nassau County police said.

Donald Ahlers Jr. allegedly squeezed the woman's neck after the two got into some sort of argument in the parking lot outside Sayville Cinemas on Railroad Avenue in Patchogue Saturday night, police said. Then he allegedly turned his rage on a 16-year-old employee who tried to step in, punching the boy in the face and jabbing his eye.

The woman identified herself in a now-deleted Facebook post as manager of the Sayville theater for the last six or seven years.

"Luckily, one of my staff, a 16-year-old kid, literally saved my life by knocking this man off of me," the woman wrote. "In return, the man threw my staff to the ground and gave him several hard blows to the head and tried jabbing his eyeballs out with his thumbs."

She says he eventually got in his car and drove off.

"There was no remorse," the woman added. "Next time, someone may not be as lucky as me to have someone step in and help."

Ahlers Jr., of East Islip, was arrested Tuesday afternoon on charges including assault, criminal obstruction of breathing and child endangerment. He is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday. Attorney details for him weren't immediately clear.

Sayville Cinemas said in a Facebook message it was grateful for the community help.

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