New Haven, CT — A prominent Connecticut lawyer was arrested Tuesday night before a screening of The Dark Knight Rises after police found a loaded handgun in his waistband and he was apparently uncooperative.
Sung-Ho Hwang, president-elect of the New Haven Bar Association, who has a carry permit, called the charges against him baseless according to the Connecticut Law Tribune.
The lawyer also suggested that he was carrying the weapon for his own personal protection.
Hwang was charged with breach of peace and interfering with police, both misdemeanors.
According to the Hartford Courant, the cinema called police about a report with a man with a gun. Police arrived and searched the approximately 12 moviegoers waiting for The Dark Knight Rises to begin.
When officers located the armed man, whom they later identified as Hwang, they drew their weapons and ordered him to put his hands up. Police said he did not comply and remained in his seat using his cellphone.
Officers then took him into custody “by force,” police said. They removed a loaded handgun from Hwang’s waistband at the small of his back, handcuffed him and took him out of the theater.
Hwang said in a subsequent news conference that he had a right to carry his weapon because the theater had no signage warning patrons that guns weren’t permitted. Hwang added that “We should focus on the real question: Why is New Haven so unsafe? Why do law-abiding citizens feel that they need to carry a weapon?”
Since the Aurora massacre, movie theater managers and customers have understandably been on alert for any suspicious or perceived-suspicious incidents attendant to screenings of the third installment of the Batman trilogy.
Watch a news report about the incident from the ABC New Haven affiliate:
Update: In early December, prosecutors dropped all charges against the lawyer.