A Maine man who was stopped on the highway for speeding over the weekend had a number of guns in his car, including an AK-47 assault rifle, and told State Police that he had taken a loaded gun in his backpack into a recent showing of the latest Batman movie, authorities said.
Timothy Courtois, 49, of Biddeford, who was stopped Sunday morning after being clocked at 112 miles per hour on the Maine Turnpike, also had clippings of the recent Aurora, Colo., movie slayings in his car, State Police said.
Courtois told troopers he was on his way to Derry, N.H., to shoot a former employer, the Maine Department of Public Safety said in a statement Monday. Authorities did not identify the employer.
Trooper Phillip Alexander stopped Courtois at 10 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 95 near the Kittery line after receiving reports from motorists of a Mustang speeding with its hazard lights on, authorities said.
When he was pulled over, Courtois admitted to having a number of weapons in the car, according to authorities. Troopers found an AK-47, four handguns, and several boxes of ammunition, according to the Department of Public Safety. In a search of Courtois’s apartment later, troopers found several more guns, including a banned fully automatic Russian assault rifle and 8,000 to 10,000 rounds of ammunition, State Police Sergeant James Urquhart said.
Courtois told police he had attended a showing of the latest Batman movie at a Cinemagic theater location in Saco, Maine, on Saturday night with a concealed gun, the Public Safety Department said.
The theater referred questions to its New Hampshire-based operating company, Zyacorp. Bob Collins, a company spokesman, could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday night.
He told the Bangor Daily News that patrons are not permitted to bring backpacks or large bags into the theater and that the company had not determined whether Courtois had attended a Batman screening Saturday or brought a bag inside as he said he had.
Courtois was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and criminal speed and taken to the York County Jail in Alfred, Maine, said Urquhart.
“State and federal authorities are now trying to determine what . . . Courtois was intending to do with the arsenal,” the statement said.
Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Public Safety Department, said Courtois gave no indication to authorities of a plan to use the weapon inside the theater. “He just mentioned [the weapon] and obviously we took note of it,” McCausland said.
Courtois was arraigned in Springvale District Court Monday afternoon. He appeared through a video feed from jail and pleaded not guilty, the Portland Press Herald reported. He was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail.
Both state and federal authorities are investigating to see whether additional charges will be brought.
The arrest took on particularly ominous overtones because of last week’s incident in Aurora, in which James Holmes, 24, allegedly opened fire at a midnight showing of the newest Batman movie, killing 12 people, wounding 58.
Shortly after the Colorado shootings, Cinemagic released a statement expressing sympathy for the victims. “As it has in the past, Cinemagic will continue to take all reasonable steps to provide a safe and wholesome environment for our valued moviegoers,” the statement read.
globe.com. Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@
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