Three held over Batman incidents

Tue, Jul 24, 2012, 01:00

At least 3 men accused of making threats during or after watching the new Batman movie have been arrested in separate incidents, underscoring moviegoers' anxieties and heightened security in the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a Colorado cinema showing the film.

A man was arrested when he told authorities that he was on his way to shoot a former employer a day after watching "The Dark Knight Rises," Maine state police said yesterday.

Timothy Courtois of Biddeford, Maine, had been stopped for speeding, and a police search of his car found an AK-47 assault weapon, four handguns, ammunition and news clippings about the mass shooting that left 12 people dead early Friday, authorities said.

Former graduate student James Holmes (24) is accused of opening fire in a cinema in a Denver suburb. The shooting also injured 58 people.

Mr Courtois said he had attended the Batman movie on Saturday, although police have not confirmed whether he actually saw the film.

"I guess we're taking everything at face value," State Police Lt Kevin Donovan said. "It's very scary."

Police searched Mr Courtois' home on Sunday and found a machine gun, several other guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

"We don't know what his true intentions were," said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. "Based on the arsenal that was confiscated, we brought in our counterparts from the FBI and ATF to assist with the investigation."

Mr Courtois was charged with speeding and possession of a concealed weapon.

In Southern California, a man at a Sunday afternoon showing of the film was arrested after witnesses said he made threats and alluded to the Aurora shooting when the movie didn't start.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were called to a cinema complex in Norwalk after moviegoers said 52-year-old Clark Tabor shouted: "I should go off like in Colorado." They said he then asked: "Does anybody have a gun?"

A security guard saw Mr Tabor with a backpack on his knees in the second row, but deputies who searched the bag, the cinema and its surrounding area did not find any weapon.

Separately, moviegoers in Sierra Visa, Arizona, panicked when a man who appeared intoxicated was confronted during a showing of the movie. The Cochise County Sheriff's office said it caused "mass hysteria" and about 50 people fled the cinema.

Off-duty border patrol agents tackled Michael William Borboa (27) who had a backpack with him, according to The Arizona Daily Star. Authorities said it contained an empty alcohol container and a half-empty moonshine bottle.

Mr Borboa was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, and threatening and intimidating.

Despite some jitters over the horrific shooting, moviegoers around the country still flocked to cinema to see the film, which was the final installment of the phenomenally successful Batman trilogy.

Warner Bros reported that it brought in $160.9 million over the weekend, making it the third highest opening weekend ever, after The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.

AP