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The Latest: Comicon props banned after armed man arrested

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/26/2017
This Thursday, May 25, 2017, photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office shows Matthew Sterling in Phoenix, Ariz. Sterling was taken into custody Thursday after a brief struggle with police at the Phoenix Convention Center. Police are adding extra security at the Phoenix Comicon following the arrest of Sterling, who was armed with guns and ammunition and who allegedly posted online threats against police officers. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office via AP) © The Associated Press This Thursday, May 25, 2017, photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office shows Matthew Sterling in Phoenix, Ariz. Sterling was taken into custody Thursday after a brief struggle with police at the Phoenix Convention Center. Police are adding extra security at the Phoenix Comicon following the arrest of Sterling, who was armed with guns and ammunition and who allegedly posted online threats against police officers. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office via AP)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on an arrest at Phoenix Comicon (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

Phoenix Comicon security has greatly tightened with officials banning all prop weapons after police arrested an armed man who they say allegedly made threats to harm a performer and posted online threats against police officers.

Massive crowds of attendees are experiencing heavy delays Friday as they wait hours in long lines before eventually going through added security screenings and entering the event.

Comic book and science fiction fans are fervently complaining about the Phoenix Comicon organizers' sudden ban on costume prop weapons. They say the fake weapons are often essential in completing costumes and can be extremely costly to build or buy. Prop weapons include swords, sabers and fake guns.

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Police didn't identify the performer who allegedly was threatened but say the man arrested Thursday was 31-year-old Matthew Sterling.

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8:35 a.m.

Police say a man who was armed with guns and ammunition when arrested at the Phoenix Comicon allegedly made threats to harm a performer at the event and posted online threats against police officers.

Police didn't identify the performer who allegedly was threatened but say the man arrested Thursday was 31-year-old Matthew Sterling. His hometown wasn't released. Police previously gave his age as 30.

Police say Sterling was taken into custody after a brief struggle at the entertainment and conic convention.

Sgt. Mercedes Fortune says Sterling was jailed on suspicion of attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, wearing body armor during the commission of a felony, resisting arrest and carrying a weapon in a prohibited place.

Fortune says officers at Comicon were alerted to a suspicious man making threats against police on social media and the postings included photos of officers working the event.

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