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January 25, 2004

Grandmomma Told Me To Knock You Out

Watch out for the seniors, they'll put a hurting on you--as long as you stand still long enough for them to get at you.

But Schuss, 69, and Rosenberg, 74, never knew each other. And when they met on Nov. 8, 2002, it turned out badly for both men.

Rosenberg died as a result of the encounter, and Schuss now faces 15 years in prison if prosecutors can prove he is responsible. Some in the media have dubbed it the "Grumpy Old Men" case, a reference to the motion picture about a pair of combative seniors.

Opening statements in Schuss' manslaughter trial are scheduled for Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, about 10 miles east of the discount movie theater in Tamarac, Florida, where Schuss allegedly assaulted Rosenberg.

Schuss and his wife, Yvonne, were in line to buy tickets behind Rosenberg, a retired insurance salesman who was purchasing tickets for himself, wife, Myra, and three other couples from their condominium complex. They were hoping to attend the 7:10 showing of "Never Again."

As Rosenberg fumbled to get his money together, Yvonne Schuss reportedly grew impatient and told Rosenberg to hurry up.

The situation escalated quickly as Rosenberg allegedly told Yvonne Schuss to "shut up." Seymour Schuss allegedly perceived the comment as threatening and lunged toward Rosenberg. Several witnesses for the prosecution are expected testify that they held Schuss back, but he ultimately landed a punch on Rosenberg's chin that knocked him to the ground and later into a coma.

Schuss was initially charged with felony battery, but Broward County prosecutors upgraded the charge to manslaughter after Rosenberg died in a hospital from a brain hemorrhage resulting from the impact.

So far, so good, or bad, as the case may be. Stupidity all round, if you ask me. Given the ethnic origin of the surnames, the German "Schuss" and the Jewish "Rosenberg," I wonder if there wasn't more to the story than meets the eye. It's not like the story specifies which military Schuss was a veteran of. Was he a G.I., as really anyone reading the story would reasonably expect, or could Schuss have been a member of the Wehrmacht?

There's no answer either way on the web, so I suppose I'll have to suffer with not knowing the rest of my life.

I'll avoid pointing out the geographic origin of the men*--let's just say it came as no surprise. This did, however.

The Rosenbergs have also filed civil suits against the Schusses and the movie theater, claiming the cinema had inadequate security despite knowing its largely senior clientele could become unruly and combative while waiting in line.

How stupid of the theatre manager, not to realize he needed to hire a full time security guard to keep his elderly clientele from throwing down each and every time one of them got dissed. That age group is notorious for rumbling over the slightest little thing, you know. No bran in the morning means no windows in the nursing home come sunset. "I'll pop a cap in yo' ass" is as common in the eldercares as "Pass the Denture cream."

Despite my antipathy for front of the line money-fumblers, I was prepared to side with the Rosenbergs in this particular matter. However, the whole "suing the cinema" thing put an end to my sympathy. I think that instead I'll adopt Mercutio's position on the entire matter.

"A plague on both your houses."

*Damn Yankees is a fine film, if you ask me.

Posted by Bigwig at January 25, 2004 04:26 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

or could Schuss have been a member of the Wehrmacht?

Well... Seeing as he'd have been 10 at the end of the war, I kind of doubt it. They went young for the Hitlerjugend, but not ten-year-olds.

Though, if we're determined to smear him, we could say he was a former East-German border guard in Berlin...

Posted by: andy at January 27, 2004 08:31 AM

Should've thought to do the math... Ah, well.

Posted by: bigwig at January 27, 2004 10:09 AM