BOULDER, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – A college student was arrested for investigation of misdemeanor menacing after wearing a clown hat and a mask depicting the Joker from the Batman series in a Boulder theater, authorities said Monday.

The unidentified 17-year-old told police he was aware of the July 20 shooting at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” at an Aurora theater where 12 people were killed and 58 wounded.

Former University of Colorado Denver neuroscience graduate student James Holmes, 24, faces 152 charges in the attack at the Century Aurora 16 theater.

When Holmes first appeared in court, his hair was dyed a shocking comic-book shade of orange-red. A New York police commissioner told reporters after the incident that he was told Holmes told arresting officers that he was “The Joker.”

(credit: CBS)

On Sunday, a group of moviegoers at the Century Boulder Theater told authorities they feared for their safety and left the building after the student at the University of Colorado donned the hat and Joker mask.

“Why would somebody do that, and what kind of bad sense of humor do they have?” a theater patron said.

“I think it’s inappropriate given the climate of what’s happened in this greater Denver area,” another said.

Police said the teen didn’t have a weapon and didn’t make threats. He was not identified because of his age. The mask was found in a shopping bag when the student was arrested, police said.

A spokesman for Cinemark USA Inc. did not return a call seeking comment.

The suspect was taken to a juvenile detention facility.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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