NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A New Haven man who was carrying a loaded handgun at a showing of 'The Dark Knight Rises' was arrested on breach of peace charges Tuesday night.
Police also charged Sung H. Hwang, 46, with interfering with police. Hwang, who had a permit to carry a pistol, is scheduled to appear in court next week. He was released from custody on a promise to appear.
Hwang is an attorney in Connecticut and president-elect of the New Haven County Bar Association.
As news quickly spread about the man arrested for bringing a .40-caliber handgun to 'The Dark Knight Rises,' the man at the center of the controversy came to his own defense at an afternoon press conference.
"I would like to take this opportunity to explain what happened," Hwang said. "I have had a valid state carry permit for many years. I normally do not carry, but I live in downtown New Haven and the movie was getting out at 1 a.m., so I felt that I should protect myself since I was alone."
Not long after Hwang spoke, some of the Elm City's most influential citizens took their turn with the press, congratulating the quick thinking of movie patrons to report him to police, as well as question why Hwang would bring a gun to the Batman movie just weeks after 12 were shot dead in Aurora, Colorado.
"This situation was quickly, competently, and professionally handled," said Police Chief Dean Esserman.
"Sometimes just because something is legal, doesn't make it right," said Mayor John DeStefano.
Following the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, moviegoers are already on edge at theaters showing The Dark Knight Rises. So when folks saw a man with a gun in his waistband walk in to the Criterion Cinemas on Temple Street a little after 10:00 p.m. they called police.
About 20 officers swarmed the theater. There were around a dozen people inside waiting for the movie to start. They were all told to put their hands up and leave the theater.
Officers identified the suspect and with weapons drawn, ordered the suspect to put his hands up," Officer David Hartman, police department spokesman, said in a news release. "He remained in his seat while using his cell phone. He did not comply with the Officers commands, and was taken into custody by force."
Police found the loaded handgun tucked in the back of his pants. Hwang does have a valid State of Connecticut permit to carry a pistol.
Yale University police also responded to the movie theater.
In July, 12 people were killed and dozens of others were wounded when a gunman opened fire at the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises." The suspect in that case, James Holmes, faces more than 140 criminal charges.
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