A 52-year-old moviegoer in Norwalk was arrested Sunday after allegedly shouting about a gun and the recent movie-theater shooting in Colorado, sheriff's officials said Monday.
Clark Tabor allegedly started creating a disturbance during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the AMC Norwalk 20 Theatre at about 5:15 p.m., at first by shouting that the movie had not yet started, sheriff's officials said.
Several witnesses told police the suspect appeared to hold his cellphone in the air and yelled, "Does anyone have a gun?" and "I should go off like in Colorado."
Tabor was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats – a felony – and is being held on $50,000 bail plus unrelated warrants, police said.
The man seemed to refer to last week's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., in which a man dressed in tactical gear opened fire on a crowd seated for a midnight screening of the same film set to play in Sunday's incident.
A dozen people were killed and 58 were injured in the shooting. James Holmes, 24, was arrested outside the theater -- his hair dyed a bright orange and telling police he was The Joker.
Colorado's shooting prompted the LA Sheriff's Department to step up patrols around Southland theaters. Several other LA-area law enforcement units added extra patrols in the wake of the shooting.
Officials last week encouraged Southland residents to keep their plans to see a movie and not "let the actions of one man doing a cowardly act" affect their movie-going experience, but they did advise them to be alert -- echoing the mantra of the "See Something, Say Something" campaign.
Fellow patrons on Sunday alerted theater security of Tabor, who was found by a theater security officer wearing a backpack and kneeling in the second row of seats, police said.
No weapons were found on the suspect, in the theater or its surrounding area, or in Tabor's residence, police said.
He is set to appear in Bellflower Court on Tuesday.
The arrest in Norwalk was the latest in a string of movie theater incidents -- largely during screenings of the latest Batman film -- in the wake of the Colorado shooting.
A 27-year-old man in Arizona was arrested Friday on suspicion of disorderly conduct and threatening and intimidating after witnesses say he appeared drunk and was acting strangely during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” according to the Associated Press.
A moviegoer confronted Michael William Borboa – who was carrying a backpack – which led to about 50 people fleeing the theater, the AP reported.
A 49-year-old man allegedly carried a loaded gun into his backpack into a recent showing of the latest Batman movie in Maine, State Police said.
Timothy Courtois was stopped Sunday morning for speeding when police found several guns in his car – including an AK-47 assault rifle. Courtois reportedly told police he has taken a gun into a theater, according to the Boston Globe.
Also on Sunday, a fight broke out in a Pittsburgh screening of “The Dark Knight” rises. No weapons were found and no arrests were made, officials said.