A 37-year-old North Ridgeville man is being held without bail in the Westlake jail after an off-duty police officer found a loaded gun, extra ammunition clips and four knives in a satchel he carried into a Saturday night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Lt. Ray Arcuri said police have no idea why Scott A. Smith
carried the weapons into the theater, but are taking no chances. With the memory fresh of the July 20 shooting spree at a "Dark Knight" movie showing in Colorado that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded, police and theater security are vigilant.
Arcuri said Westlake Officer Jeremiah Bullins was off duty and working security at the Regal Cinema in the Crocker Park shopping center around 10 p.m. Saturday when he saw the theater manager talking to a man carrying a satchel. The manager did not ask to look inside the satchel.
Bullins followed the man when he walked into the theater showing the Batman movie and sat down.
"He entered the theater a half-hour early and was the only one in there," said Arcuri. "Bullins talked to the man and asked if he could see inside his bag. It was a consensual encounter.
"Bullins looked inside and saw a loaded Glock 9 millimeter handgun; two fully loaded magazine clips; three knives in the bag and one on his person," Arcuri continued. "When Bullins asked why he carried the weapons into the theater, the man said, 'No problem. I'll put them in my car.' But it was too late for that."
Smith was taken to the Westlake jail, where he refused to talk to police.
Matthew Bruce, attorney for Smith, said that if the allegations are true, Smith only brought the handgun to the theater to protect himself.
"He has never been in trouble with the law in this or any other state," Bruce said. "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."
Police believe Smith, who has a wife and young daughter, spent a short time in the military. He does not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He does not have a criminal record, Arcuri said.