Suburban Math Teacher Charged After Outburst During ‘Star Wars' Screening

James Sokoloski, 30, is accused of causing a scene at a sold-out screening of "The Force Awakens."

A suburban Chicago school teacher faces charges after an alleged alcohol-fueled outburst during a screening of the new "Star Wars" movie.

Police said 30-year-old James Sokoloski attended a sold-out show with a friend on Dec. 17 at Orland Park’s Marcus Cinema.

District 233’s website lists Sokoloski as a math teacher and head junior varsity wrestling coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. The Chicago Tribune reports Sokoloski's friend identified himself as a dean at the high school. 

Shortly into the highly anticipated film, the men started standing up and loudly shouting, according to a police report.

Other moviegoers reported the unruly behavior to theater security, who asked them to leave, police said. The men refused the security guards’ requests and began teasing the officers, taunting them to bring in the "real police," according to the report.

When on-duty officers arrived, Sokoloski's friend apologized for his behavior and tried to persuade Sokoloski to leave, according to police. 

Police said Sokoloski ended up in handcuffs when he continued to mock and disobey the orders of an off-duty Cook County sheriff's police officer who jumped in to the security team’s aid.

On the ride to the police station, police said Sokoloski threatened to sue them for arresting him. Responding officers reported he smelled strongly of alcohol.

Orland Park police said Wednesday they have no comment or confirmation on the employment of the man or his friend, as "it does not have any baring (sic) on the case."

Sokoloski, of Oak Forest, is charged with disorderly conduct, resisting police and criminal trespass.

His friend, who was not charged in the incident, was allowed to stay and proceeded to finish the film at the theater, police said.

The school district's spokesperson Jodi Bryant released the following statement to NBC 5 Wednesday regarding the teacher's arrest: "The district is aware of the situation and has met with the teacher to take appropriate measures regarding the incident. Since this is a personnel matter, the district has no additional details that it can provide."

Requests for comment to Sokoloski were not immediately returned.

Contact Us