Heather Piper was at a movie theater with a few friends when she said she tried to quiet a group of noisy teens “acting out of control.”
She didn’t expect things to turn violent.
"They were crawling over seats and yelling," Piper told CBS Denver. "I asked them to be quiet several times and they wouldn't, and I finally yelled at them to 'shush.'"
But they didn’t listen so she called a security guard into the theater to calm the teens down, she told CBS Denver, adding that they finally quieted down.
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Once she left the movie theater Tuesday evening in Lakewood, Colorado, one of the teens confronted her.
“I heard screaming behind me. I turned around and this girl was on top of me. She was just screaming. She punched me in the face and my glasses came off,” Piper told Inside Edition. “She kept hitting me and all I think is ‘I can’t hit a child,’ so I tried to grab her and hold her away from me.”
Piper’s friends ran into the theater to get help while she struggled with the teen.
“I said, ‘What are you doing? What’s wrong with you?’ And she lost it. She started hitting me again and then started crying saying, ‘Well you called me ghetto,’” Piper told CBS Denver, adding that she “probably did” say those words.
The girl eventually left, Piper said. The encounter left her with a fractured nose, a black eye and several scratches, which were treated at a nearby hospital, Inside Edition reported.
Piper is a foster mom and feared she’d lose her license if she fought back. She told Inside Edition that she was shocked by the girl’s behavior.
“I've had some tough teens in my house and never had any that behaved that way,” Piper said. “I worry that there's kids out there that think violence is the way to express themselves, and I hope if the girl has some trauma in her life or a rough home life she finds some help and some good role models to learn from.”
Police haven’t yet arrested any suspects and are still reviewing security footage.