CLEVELAND — A North Ridgeville man, who armed himself for a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Regal Cinemas in Westlake’s Crocker Park, appeared on camera before a judge in Cuyahoga County’s Justice Center Thursday.
Scott A. Smith’s lawyer told Judge Robert McClelland his client is a married father of two with ties to the community.
Attorney Matthew Bruce said Smith, 37, owns his own home, works as a research analyst for a sleep lab, is a student of psychology at Cleveland State University and has no history of violence or criminal behavior.
He asked that Smith be released on his own recognizance.
“Looking at the various factors, there’s nothing to consider my client a flight risk,” Bruce told the judge.
Smith was charged with 21 weapons related counts after Westlake Police arrested him inside a theater on Saturday night. He was found sitting at the back of the room with a bag containing a gun, three knives and ammunition. A fourth knife was found inside his pocket.
Judge McClelland set bond at $250,000 and ordered Smith to stay away from Crocker Park, the Regal Cinemas in Westlake and the nearby Promenade.
Smith’s attorney blamed the media for making too much out of the incident.
“What’s going on is a man went into a movie theater to watch a movie, he had a weapon in his bag and now all of a sudden the media’s calling him a copy-cat. I’ve seen reports where they’re just asserting that he was there to shoot everyone,” said Bruce. “I think those are completely baseless, unfounded and blown way out of proportion.”
The attorney said his client has no problem with drugs and does not suffer from a mental condition. He believes police charged Smith with 19 counts of having a weapon under disability because they’ve concluded Smith is using the painkiller Percocet and a sleep medication.
Smith has been incarcerated since his arrest Saturday night.