Crocker Park Movie Suspect Had Gun, Knives, "Survival Equipment"
Scott A. Smith of North Ridgeville arrested after bringing bag of weapons into Saturday night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."
Updated 1:20 p.m.
A North Ridgeville man has been arrested after bringing a gun, ammunition and three knives to Regal Cinema in Crocker Park over the weekend. The shopping area is a popular destination for west-side Clevelanders.
In an unsettling connection to the Aurora, Colo., mass shooting last month that left 12 people dead, Scott A. Smith, 37, had bought a ticket to Saturday's 10 p.m. showing of The Dark Knight Rises at the Crocker Park movie theater.
According to Westlake police, Regal Cinema management had seen Smith entering the theater with some kind of a bag and alerted security, and the bag was checked without finding anything suspicious.
But an off-duty Westlake police officer working security, and in full uniform, then tracked down Smith in his seat and asked to search the Maxpedition bag. Smith was the only person in the theater.
After getting permission from Smith, the officer searched the bag found a loaded Glock 9MM semiautomatic pistol with two additional fully loaded magazines, three knives, some kind of medical supplies and what was described by police as "various survival equipment." A fourth knife was found on Smith's person.
Westlake police searched Smith's home Monday night, and also searched his car and phone. What police described as "numerous" weapons and ammunition were seized from his home.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office is reviewing the case. Westlake police said possible charges are four counts of carrying various weapons, one count of carrying a concealed weapon and one count of having weapons under disability.
After the Aurora shootings, Westlake police stepped up their presence at Regal Cinema. Off-duty Westlake police officers have long worked security there, and more are brought in for big premiere weekends for films such as The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers.
In a statement sent to Westlake Patch on Tuesday, a Regal Cinema spokesperson declined to give specifics about security measures, but reminded theatergoers that "Regal reserves the right to inspect the contents of any backpack, package or bag." Also, since the Aurora shootings, there are restrictions about costumes and accessories patrons can wear and bring to the theater. Call Regal Cinema at 440-871-7661 if you have specific questions about those restrictions.