A police hunt is underway for a man who threatened a teenage boy with a hammer, punched one of his friends and throttled another at Cineworld.
The boys, two aged 13 and one 14, were sat waiting for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald to start yesterday afternoon when a man on the row in front threatened and attacked the boys.
He is said to have confronted the boys when one of the their mobile phones lit up during the adverts when the 13-year-old received a text.
But the attacker thought the teenager had been ‘filming' him and demanded his phone.
When the boy refused to hand it over and explained that he was responding to a text, the man produced a hammer from a bag and threatened to ‘smash' his ‘head in’.
When the others boys intervened one was punched in his head and the other was throttled.
The shocked mum of the boy initially confronted by the man said she was horrified that nobody in the cinema offered to help the teenagers.
“I can’t believe that nobody helped them that people just sat and watched without doing anything,” she said.
“I am urging them to do the right thing now and to help the police catch the man who did this. They need to say what they saw.
“This man needs stopped before he seriously hurts someone. What kind of man takes a hammer to a cinema?”
She said the culprit needs 'educated’.
“Whether he is part of a gang and that’s the reason he was carrying a weapon, I don’t know, but he needs educated,” she added.
“I am mortified that this has happened. It is a disgrace that things like this are happening in such public places.”
South Yorkshire Police said opfficers are following up reports that ‘a male demanded that a group of three teenagers handed over their phones, before threatening them with a hammer.’
The force added: “He then punched one of the teenage boys in the head and grabbed a second boy before leaving the scene.”
Officers are ‘working to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident’ and are ‘reviewing CCTV footage’.
On Friday, September 21, a man was stabbed to death during a fight outside Cineworld at the Valley Centertainment complex.
Fahim Hersi, 22, was rushed to hospital but died a short time later.
Another man, 21, was also stabbed during the incident and underwent surgery in hospital but survived.
Nobody has yet been charged.
Anyone with information about last night’s incident should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote incident 751 of November 18.