Viral North Versailles movie theater video leads to new charges against woman who posted it
March 13--A Wilkinsburg woman's video of a confrontation with a North Versailles movie theater manager went viral last week and prompted the manager's firing, but it has also landed her in jail.
Melanie Carter, 35, was charged Monday in an unrelated incident with disorderly conduct, harassment, interfering with transportation facilities, public drunkenness and alcohol violations, court records show.
The charges stem from a Feb. 13 incident in which an unknown woman -- later identified as Carter -- was kicked off of a Port Authority bus for "using obscene language, causing public annoyance and alarm," according to the criminal complaint filed against her.
As she left the bus, she threw an alcoholic beverage in the bus driver's face and called her a "five dollar bus ticket (expletive)," police wrote.
Still images from the bus security camera and from the camera at the ticket booth where Carter purchased her ticket were collected, but police could not identify the woman.
That is, until last week when Carter posted the video of her confrontation with a North Versailles police officer and the manager of the Phoenix Theatres North Versailles Stadium 18 cinema. The video, posted March 8 to Carter's Facebook page, allegedly occurred the night of Feb. 23.
The video shows a theater manager arguing with several teenagers who he'd removed from the theater for allegedly being rowdy. At one point he says they were acting like "animals."
The officer who intervened told Carter she had to leave the property, and she refused. The officer pulled out his handcuffs and attempted to handcuff Carter, who struggled against being cuffed. The incident led to charges of failing to disperse, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and trespassing against Carter.
Port Authority police used the same video to identify Carter as the woman wanted for the incident on the bus.
"Carter was identified by the matching face piercings as described by the driver," according to the complaint, as well as a hand tattoo and the still images from the bus cameras.
A preliminary hearing for the theater incident is scheduled for April 19 in front of Magisterial District Judge Roxanne Sakoian Eichler. A preliminary hearing for the bus incident is scheduled for April 9 in Pittsburgh municipal court.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8519, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.
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