Aurora Theater Shooting

Clark Tabor busted in L.A. theater after saying he should "go off like in Colorado"

With any incident as shocking as the Aurora theater shootings, authorities are always fearful of copycats.

Which explains the weekend arrest of Clark Tabor, who was introduced to handcuffs after allegedly making references to the Colorado tragedy -- and a gun -- in a Los Angeles-area theater screening The Dark Knight Rises.

The story comes to us from the L.A. Weekly, our sister paper, which reveals that the arrest took place at the AMC Norwalk 20 on Sunday. Tabor, age 52, is said to have knelt down in the second row of the auditorium in question and asked, "Does anyone have a gun?.... I should go off like in Colorado."

Because Tabor was on his knees and had a backpack with him, those around him took these lines seriously. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office reps were quickly dispatched to the scene, and while they didn't find any weapon in his bag, or in his apartment during a subsequent search, they eventually took him into custody anyway on suspicion of making criminal threats.

Size of the bond placed on Tabor, who is said to have other active warrants in his name? $50,000.

This reaction falls short of surprising, even though the incident didn't take place in Colorado. L.A. is a film-industry town where questions about how the slaughter at the Century 16 might impact The Dark Knight Rises' box office prospects began circulating very shortly after the news broke. Moreover, the Weekly points out that the Los Angeles Police Department announced on Friday that it planned to start sending undercover officers into theaters.

Presumably, such tactics will became less and less common as time moves forward, so long as there are no actual attempts to replicate the bloodshed here. In the meantime, though, be warned that making a joke about the killings while in a theater right now is about as wise as riffing about the bomb in your luggage while going through airport security.

Here's a larger look at Tabor's mug shot.

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "Aurora theater shooting & disgusting questions about The Dark Knight Rises box office."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts