Texas man sues woman $17.31 for texting during cinema date – and gets his money

It has been described as the “first date from hell” – and it ended in a lawsuit.

A man from Texas sued a woman this week for $17.31 – the price of a cinema ticket – after she irritated him by texting during a movie.

Brandon Vezmar, 37, of Austin, claimed Crystal Cruz was “a threat to civilised society” after she used her phone to read and send text messages “at least 10-20 times in 15 minutes” during the 3D showing of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” on Saturday.

Mr Vezmar asked Ms Cruz to stop but she refused. He suggested she step outside to use her phone, after which she left the cinema and never came back.

The 35-year-old woman also drove away in her car, in which she had driven them both, leaving him without a ride home, he said.

A few days later, he messaged her asking for the price of a ticket but she refused because “he took me out on a date”, she said.

“This is crazy,” she told the newspaper. “I’m not a bad woman. I just went out on a date.”

The case even attracted the attention of the film’s director, James Gunn, who tweeted: “Why stop at suing? She deserves jail time!”

Mr Vezmar filed the petition in the small claims court in Travis County.

The texting was a “direct violation” of the cinema’s policy and the woman “adversely” affected Mr Vezmar’s viewing experience and that of other patrons, the petition states.

“While damages sought are modest, the principle is important as defendant’s behaviour is a threat to civilised society,” it says.

The pair were reunited at the cinema on Thursday in an attempt to sort out the dispute.

“The date just didn’t work out,” she told him during the reunion, according to Inside Edition, which arranged the meeting.

She also apologised and handed him money, asking him to “just leave this alone.”

Mr Vezmar accepted the apology and said he would withdraw the lawsuit. He also said he would donate the money to charity.

 EDWARD R GARCIA

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