Tuesday, December 04, 2012

CT:Charges dropped against lawyer who brought gun to theater

NEW HAVEN -- State prosecutors have dismissed charges against a prominent New Haven lawyer who was arrested in August after bringing a handgun to a city movie theater showing the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises."

Sung-Ho Hwang, 46, an immigration attorney and president of the New Haven County Bar Association, was charged with breach of peace and interfering with police after officers said they found a loaded handgun in his waistband.

The arrest came not long after a gunman opened fire during a screening of the same film in Aurora, Colo., in July, killing 12 moviegoers and wounding 58.

Hugh Keefe, Hwang's attorney, said prosecutor David Strollo agreed to drop the misdemeanor charges Monday. Strollo cited Hwang's clean record and that although police were yelling to put his hands up, Hwang didn't know they were police because of the flash lights in his eyes, Keefe said.

"He thought it was a prank and once he realized they were police he complied," Keefe said.

Keefe said after Strollo said he would drop the charges, he requested they be dismissed and a judge agreed.

"I'm delighted," Keefe said. "I think it's the just result. I think given the high profile nature of the case and the amount of publicity the arrest generated, that it took some courage on the part of Mr. Strollo to do the right thing."

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