Charges dropped in Rosemont 'Twilight: New Moon' taping

Updated 12/11/2009 8:05 PM

A Cook County circuit court judge has dismissed charges against a Chicago woman accused of trying to videotape the movie "Twilight: New Moon."

Samantha Tumpach, 22, of the 3800 block of Odell Avenue, had been charged Nov. 30 with criminal use of a motion picture exhibition facility, a Class 4 felony, after she was caught using a hand-held video recorder and taping portions of the movie at Muvico Theater at 9701 Bryn Mawr Ave. in Rosemont, police said.


Defense attorneys said two different scenes of the movie were on the camera when the video was reviewed by police, but the woman was taping a birthday party that was taking place inside the theater, and not the movie itself.

Only three or four minutes of the movie was on the tape when reviewed by authorities later, defense attorneys said.

"The Cook County state's attorney's office did what it could to make this right, and I commend them for it," Scott Slonim, deputy for the Cook County public defender's office in Rolling Meadows, said Friday. "Justice was served and common sense prevailed."

Slonin credited Assistant Public Defenders Joe Gump and Salvatore Spaccaferro for helping to resolve the case.

The state kept the memory card containing the film footage, Slonim said.

An usher on Nov. 30 had noticed Tumpach videotaping the movie and alerted management of the theater. The manager pulled Tumpach out of the theater and called police. Prosecutors pursued the case after theater officials pressed charges.

• Daily Herald staff writer Barbara Vitello contributed to this report.

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