Thornton pays $25,000 to man arrested for openly carrying firearm into Cinnebarre Theater

Attorney calls it vidication

THORNTON, Colo. - The City of Thornton is shelling out $25,000 to a man who was arrested by police while openly carrying a holstered weapon into a movie theater one week after the shootings in Aurora.

Jim Mapes was arrested July 29, 2012 during a movie at the Cinnebare Theater after someone called police to report that a man had gone into the theater with a gun.  Mapes told 7NEWS at the time that he’d worn his sidearm into the same theater several times and never had a problem.

“The movie stopped and the lights came on,” he said. “Someone said, ‘I just got a call from my friend who said there’s someone in the theater with a gun.’”

Mape said he stood up and told fellow patrons that he had a concealed carry permit.

Thornton police said Mapes was originally arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon in a liquor or beer establishment.

“The summons issued to Mr. Mapes alleged that he was brandishing or flourishing his firearm,” said Robert Wareham, Mapes' attorney.

“It never left my holster,” Mapes added.

Wareham said there should never have been an arrest.

“Coloradans, with the exception of Denver, have had the right to openly carry firearms since 1865,” Wareham said.

Although police later dropped the charges, Mapes didn’t give up the fight.  He sued the city and received a settlement.

Wareham said the city paid off Mr. Mapes but didn’t admit any wrong doing.

“They got to apologize to him in the form of a nice, healthy check,” Wareham said

When asked what the settlement means, Wareham replied, ““It is vindication for Mr. Mapes. We don’t take and use the mood of the moment to take way people’s rights.”

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