WESTLAKE, OH (WOIO) - The married father arrested with a backpack full of weapons at the Crocker Park movie theater in Westlake appeared in court via video Thursday afternoon.
Scott A. Smith pled not guilty to a total of 21 counts, including carrying a concealed weapon and having weapons under disability. Judge set bond at $250,000.
The 37-year-old North Ridgeville man was arrested Saturday evening while seated in a showing of the movie Dark Knight Rises.
An off-duty officer and movie theater manager confronted Smith because he was acting suspicious. Smith opened his backpack without a fight, and revealed a Glock 9mm handgun and three knives. Smith does not have a concealed carry permit.
Police say Smith was seated in the last row of the theater with his back against the wall. That's what police call a tactical position.
"He was the first guy in there, the only guy in there, sat in the last row right in the middle in a tactical advance position, basically," said Westlake Police Lt. Ray Arcuri. "Nobody was in the theater, thank God, but later on they had 70 or 80 people in that same theater. The risk was very high."
"Because his back was to the wall, basically, if he chose to do something then all of his potential victims were in front of him and he would have the advantage over them," Lt. Arcuri added.
Medina attorney Matthew Bruce, who represents Smith, said his client, who peacefully surrendered to police, had no plans of harming anyone. He said Smith's weapons were for his protection only.
A search warrant was executed at Smith's home late Monday. Officers found more weapons, a gas mask, tactical vest and more ammunition.
Smith is married and has a one-year-old daughter.