Victim in Bow Tie attack files suit

Theater, teens, their parents named defendants

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
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The Bow Tie Cinema on State Street in downtown Schenectady is pictured in September.
The Bow Tie Cinema on State Street in downtown Schenectady is pictured in September.

— The man attacked by a group of teenagers inside the Bow Tie Cinema in downtown Schenectady has filed a lawsuit against the theater, each of the teens implicated in the attack and the teens’ parents.

Robin Franze of Glenville filed the suit in state Supreme Court in Schenectady County last week seeking unspecified damages related to the attack on June 28, 2013, at the theater on State Street in Schenectady.

Franze claims the theater had a duty to him to provide a safe premises and provide adequate security or adequate supervision.

The suit also contends that the theater failed “to take any action whatsoever to manage, monitor and supervise” the teen attackers.

“As a direct and proximate result … [Franze] has sustained certain serious physical and personal injuries, severe mental and emotional anguish and trauma, all of which are permanent in nature,” the suit reads.

Representatives of the Bow Tie Cinema did not return requests for comment Monday.

Franze is represented in the suit by attorney Stephen Coffey of Albany. Reached Monday, Coffey declined to answer questions related to the suit or otherwise comment.

Named as defendants in the suit are each of the four teens previously named in criminal proceedings. The four are: Roeson Cobb, 16 at the time of the attack; Terrell Bell, 16 at the time; Dashawn Harrison, 16 at the time; and Jonas Jeannot, 18 at the time.

Each of the four was charged criminally in Schenectady County Court and later admitted to roles in the attack.

Two others were charged in Family Court because they were 15 or younger. They were not named publicly and it is unclear if their cases have been resolved.

The suit names two additional alleged attackers as defendants, but does not indicate their ages. It was unclear if the two additional names are the Family Court defendants. The Daily Gazette is not identifying them because of their age.

Parents of each of the six are also named as defendants.

Franze is suing each of the individual attackers and his parents for multiple causes of action, including battery, unlawful assault and intentional infliction of emotional harm.

Cobb had previously been described by the prosecutor as the instigator in the attack.

The attack happened late at night at the conclusion of a showing of “White House Down.”

A group of teenagers were disrupting the show and Franze, there with his two daughters, snapped his fingers at one of the passing youths, prosecutors have said. Cobb responded by rallying the group of teens he was with against Franze. The teens started hitting him in succession. When he began to fight back, they started attacking together, hitting and kicking him. Cobb threw the first punch, prosecutors have said.

The victim suffered a concussion, broken bones to a hand, tooth damage and torn-up skin on his knees. One of the man’s daughters also was hit and knocked to the floor as she tried to come to her father’s aid. Her cellphone was also stolen. police said.

Only Franze is named as a plaintiff in the suit.

All four of the attackers charged in adult court have admitted to their roles. Three of the four have been sentenced. Presiding Judge Richard B. Meyer, visiting from Essex County, granted each youthful offender status.

Cobb received one year in jail. Bell and Harrison received time served. The three were sentenced in early June. Only Jeannot remains to be sentenced. He is expected to receive a sentence similar to Bell and Harrison at his sentencing later in July.

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July 1, 2014
6:15 a.m.
kopacham says...

Going after the pocketbook seems to be the only way to get teens to take responsibility for their actions and the parents to supervise their children.

July 1, 2014
6:57 a.m.
ajames says...

District Attorney Carney should be allowed to be sued also for the ridiculous slap on the wrist prosecution his office oversaw in this matter. Of course law makers protect district attorneys from lawsuits but the public should be made aware of how these cases are handled.

July 1, 2014
10:28 a.m.
fore26 says...

I agree with aajames. Go after the county. This slap on the wrist is why I will never go to Movieland again. The definition of enableing.

July 1, 2014
11:01 a.m.
memny says...

If roles were reversed and it was Mr. Franze who first put his hands on and hurt one of these delinquent teens, you can bet their parents would be suing his pants off. I hope he gets everything he can out of them, assuming their parents are productive working members of society....and that's probably a big assumption

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