Copycat Fears Spark Arrests at Showings of "Dark Knight Rises"
Since last week's shooting massacre in Aurora, Colorado, security efforts have been increased at theaters across the country showing the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight Rises."
In Edgewater, NJ police responded to a situation at one such showing when a moviegoer got up, walked out of the emergency exit to talk on his or her phone, and walked back in. When authorities arrived and asked for the person who had exited to come forward, no one did -- and the movie was shut down.
Another instance in Southern
California occurred after a 52-year-old man began screaming when the "Dark Knight" film didn't start on time. Witnesses say the man was saying things like, "I should go off like Colorado" and "Does anybody have a gun?"
A man in Arizona was also arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct when he engaged in a fight during a screening. The encounter made 50 people so nervous they fled the theater.
According to experts, what some see as a fear of an unlikely copycat crime is actually a very real and threatening syndrome. "In a dark way, it's very inspirational to a person who has that warped mindset," said one Fox News psychology expert. "So, they're going to see that [and say], 'hey, he did it, I can do that ... that's not just a fantasy but it's something I can enact and carry out."