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Ohio man who brought handgun to "Batman" movie granted bond

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 09, 2012 8:16 PM
Ohio man who brought handgun to "Batman" movie granted bond

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio man facing weapons charges after he brought a loaded handgun and knives into a late-night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" last weekend was ordered on Thursday to stay away from the theater by a judge who also set his bail at $250,000.

The arrest of Scott Smith, 37, was the latest in a series of chilling reminders of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20, when police say James Eagan Holmes killed 12 people and wounded dozens at a midnight showing of the movie.

Smith faces 21 weapons charges, two for carrying concealed weapons into the theater on Saturday and 19 for a cache of handguns, rifles and shotguns found in a search of his home on Monday along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. He was still in police custody as of Thursday afternoon.

An off-duty police officer who was working security for a Westlake, Ohio, theater saw that Smith had arrived a half-hour early with a military-style bag and was sitting in the back row.

The officer asked Smith if he could search the bag and found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, two extra magazines of ammunition, four knives, medical gauze and lighter fluid.

Police said Smith had told authorities he brought the gun for his protection and for the protection of innocent people.

"There was no intent by my client to hurt anyone," attorney Matthew Bruce said. "This has been blown out of proportion by the media."

Bruce told reporters that Smith, who works from home as a research analyst for a sleep study center, was not a flight risk or a danger to the community. Bruce said he would seek to have the bond reduced.

(Editing by David Bailey, Corrie MacLaggan and Lisa Shumaker)