POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A seemingly routine night at the movies in Pompano Beach took a harrowing turn when a dispute over seating escalated into a violent attack, leaving a 63-year-old man injured and triggering a search for the assailant.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit detectives on Thursday released surveillance footage of the incident, seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the aggressor responsible.

According to BSO, the incident occurred on Monday, July 10, shortly before 10 p.m., at the AMC Pompano Beach 18 movie theater at 2315 N. Federal Highway.

The victim had purchased VIP tickets with advance seating for the screening.

Upon entering the theater, the victim and his wife were surprised to find a man and a woman sitting in their reserved seats.

“The victim told him politely to please move from his seats,” said BSO spokesperson Claudinne Caro.

However, the situation quickly escalated when the unknown subject responded by standing up and aggressively confronting the victim, coming dangerously close to his face, and prompting the victim to step back, inadvertently ending up on the stairs in the aisle.

The tension escalated further, and the confrontation turned physical.

Cellphone video captured the moment the aggressor violently pushed the victim to the floor, causing him to lose his balance and fall on the stairs.

The subject continued his assault, repeatedly punching the defenseless victim in the face. Witnesses at the scene rushed to the victim’s aid and intervened, pulling the attacker away.

Following the altercation, the subject and the female left the theater.

Thursday afternoon, a 7News crew showed the cellphone video to moviegoers outside the multiplex.

“We’re here like every week,” said Andre Dutra.

“It’s scary,” said a woman.

“The victim had to be transported to a local hospital. He received injuries to his head and face,” said Caro.

The moviegoers who spoke with 7News said they happened to be at the theater on the night of the attack.

“So we walk in, and there’s like a bunch of police officers, and we don’t know what’s going on,” said Alice Dutra. “We had already bought tickets online.”

The moviegoers said they saw the flashing lights and felt fear at one of their favorite places.

“It just sucks, because it’s a public place where everyone just wants to go and have fun and get away from anything,” said Andre Dutra, “so, if somebody’s just beating some innocent guy up, then it makes everybody else feel unsafe.”

As of Thursday night, the subject remains at large.

If you have any information on this incident or the subject’s whereabouts, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox