The State : Fan Following Actress Held

A man who had been following actress Justine Bateman, former star of the television series "Family Ties," was taken into custody Wednesday after he threatened suicide outside a theater in Berkeley where she was scheduled to perform, police said. Police persuaded John Thomas Smetek, 39, of Houston, Tex., to surrender the loaded revolver he held to his abdomen as he sat in the courtyard of the Berkeley Repertory Theater, Berkeley Police Lt. Robert Peters said. Bateman, 23, was not at the theater at the time. Smetek, who will undergo a psychiatric evaluation at Highland Hospital, had been trailing Bateman for months, Peters said. Smetek was arrested for investigation of possession of a loaded firearm within city limits and two felony counts of displaying a firearm. Bateman and theater officials declined to press charges and Smetek was released, the officer said.

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