Police: Arsenal seized from Biddeford man who saw Batman movie with loaded weapon

State Police seized a number of guns from Timothy Courtois, 49, of Biddeford after his speeding car was stopped on the Maine Turnpike on Sunday.
Maine State Police
State Police seized a number of guns from Timothy Courtois, 49, of Biddeford after his speeding car was stopped on the Maine Turnpike on Sunday.
Posted July 23, 2012, at 2:50 p.m.
Last modified July 24, 2012, at 5:10 a.m.

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Maine State Police seized an arsenal of weapons from a Biddeford man who told police he brought a loaded gun to a showing of “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises” in Saco on Saturday night, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Timothy Courtois, 49, was arrested in York about 10 a.m. Sunday after state police Trooper Phillip Alexander clocked Courtois’ Ford Mustang traveling at 112 mph on the Maine Turnpike. Other motorists had called police to report the vehicle was speeding southbound on the turnpike with its hazard lights flashing.

Inside the car, police found an AK-47 assault rifle, four handguns and several boxes of ammunition, McCausland said Monday afternoon.

Also in Courtois’ car, police found newspaper clippings about the mass shooting Friday during a showing of the same Batman movie at a Colorado movie theater, according to McCausland.

Courtois told police he had attended the Batman movie at the Cinemagic Theater in Saco on Saturday night with a loaded gun in his backpack and that he was on his way Sunday to Derry, N.H., where he planned to shoot a former employer, McCausland said.

“He didn’t speak to any intent to harm people [at the theater], but I’m sure a lot of this is going to continue to come out” as agencies including the state police, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives continue their investigations, Maine State Police Lt. Kevin Donovan said Monday.

“We don’t know what his true intentions were” when he brought the gun to the theater, and investigators are trying to determine his reasons for doing so and for having a large collection of firearms, McCausland said.

New Hampshire-based Cinemagic operates seven movie theaters in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Bob Collins, director of marketing for the company, said Monday evening that Cinemagic policy prohibits backpacks and large bags from theaters. That policy still holds true, he said. The company has not determined whether Courtois did in fact attend the movie on Saturday or if he brought a bag with him, as he told police, according to Collins.

“The safety of our patrons is, and always has been, of paramount importance to Cinemagic,” the company said in a statement after the Colorado shootings. “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.”

A search of Courtois’ home at 344 Elm St. in Biddeford after his arrest uncovered more guns, including a machine gun, rifles, handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Courtois made his initial court appearance in Springvale District Court on charges of having a concealed weapon and criminal speeding at 1 p.m. Monday by video from York County Jail, according to a court clerk.

His bail is set at $50,000 cash or $150,000 real estate, with provisions that he not use or possess alcohol, drugs or dangerous weapons. He also must submit to random searches and testing under the bail conditions.

Donovan said police checks haven’t revealed any criminal history in Courtois’ background.

State police received assistance from the FBI and ATF during the investigation.

The York County district attorney’s office and U.S. attorney’s office in Portland will review the case to identify any other potential charges, according to McCausland.

The Springvale District Court clerk said Courtois is scheduled to appear in York District Court at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 23.

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