Armed Man Arrested at 'Dark Knight Rises' Screening
During a weekend in which one-fifth of moviegoers were skittish about returning to theaters, police arrested a well-armed man at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
An off-duty police officer confronted 37-year-old Scott A. Smith in a suburban Cleveland movie theater and found him with a satchel containing a loaded gun and several knives, Cleveland.com reports.
The incident occurred Saturday at Regal Cinema in Westlake, Ohio, where the officer, Jeremiah Bullins, was working security while off-duty. Bullins noticed Smith waling into a theater showing Dark Knight Rises alone and carrying a satchel, about 30 minutes before the movie was to start.
When Bullins asked to look inside Smith’s bag, the suspect cooperated, and the officer found a loaded Glock 9 millimeter handgun, two loaded clips and three knives. Smith also had a knife on his person.
Smith offered to take his weapons to his car, but was instead handed over to police, who are unsure why the man brought the weapons into the theater.
"After Colorado, anything is possible," said police Lt. Ray Arcuri, referring to the July 20 mass shooting at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
Smith’s attorney insists that if the allegations are true, his client brought the weapons into the theater for his own protection.
"In light of the shooting in Colorado and similar threats, if he did bring a handgun to the theater it would have been for his personal protection and there would have been no intention of shooting anyone or causing a panic,” said Matthew Bruce, Smith’s attorney.
The arrest came two weeks after James Holmes allegedly shot and killed 12 people and injured 58 more in an Aurora, Colo., theater. It was recently reported that Holmes’ psychiatrist warned university police about his behavior weeks before the massacre.
At the box office, The Dark Knight Rises finished its third weekend with a worldwide gross of $732 million, making it the No. 2 film of the year.