At least four men have been arrested during or after showings of The Dark Knight Rises, underscoring the fears many now harbor at the movies in the wake of last Friday’s tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
On Sunday, a moviegoer shouted “Bomb!” in a crowded Pennsylvania theater, inspiring the crowd to flee the showing of The Dark Knight Rises. One person in the theater was injured in the commotion, leading to a leg injury. Reports of the event show that the theater at the Waterfront Theater 12 near Pittsburgh was also the scene of many fights that evening, a likely contributor to the panic.
That same day, a man was arrested in Southern California for allegedly making threats after a showing of The Dark Knight Rises was delayed. Witnesses reported that 52-year-old Clark Tabor yelled, “I should go off like in Colorado…Does anybody have a gun?” Witnesses then called police and Tabor was arrested at the Norwalk cinema, just south of Los Angeles. After searching Tabor, his backpack and the theater, authorities found no gun.
Then on Monday, police in Biddeford, Maine stopped Timothy Courtois for speeding. Courtois told the state police officers that he had just been to see The Dark Knight Rises and admitted he was on his way to shoot his former boss. Upon searching his car, police found an AK-47 assault weapon, four handguns, ammunition, and news clippings about the Aurora shooting. A search of Courtois’ home also yielded thousands of rounds of ammunition, a machine gun, and many other guns.
State police hadn’t confirmed if Courtois had actually seen the film, but “we’re taking everything at face value,” Lt. Kevin Donovan said. “It’s very scary.” They took no chances, though, calling in the FBI and ATF teams to aid the investigation.
In a fourth (also unrelated) incident, an intoxicated man in Sierra Visa, Ariz. appeared drunk and disorderly in a showing of the The Dark Knight Rises. The incident took place Friday night, mere hours after the Colorado shooting, inspiring panic in the theater as nearly 50 people ran out in what police called “mass hysteria.” The man, 27-year-old Michael William Borboa, also had a backpack but a search showed it contained no weapon – only an empty alcohol container and a half-full bottle of moonshine. Borboa was tackled by off-duty border patrol agents.
Though security was high and some moviegoers proved anxious this past weekend, The Dark Knight Rises still managed to have a record weekend at the box office, netting $160.9 million.