“Why so serious?”
On Friday afternoon, police in Winchester, Virginia were notified that a suspicious man, who was later identified as 31-year-old Jeremy Putman, was spotted walking around town dressed as the Clown Prince of Crime and carrying a sword.
The Winchester Police Department arrested Putman and charged him with wearing a mask in public. The charge is a Class 6 Felony, and if convicted, Putman could serve up to five years in jail. Police also believe Putman is solely responsible for similar reports they received over the past week.
Inspired by the look of Heath Ledger’s Joker from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Putman had his stringy, unkempt hair dyed green, his powder white face paint applied to create cracks and crevices, smudged dark eyeshadow, and a smeared on smile with red lipstick.
View photos of Putman dressed as The Joker in our gallery below.
According to VirginiaCode 18.2-422: “It shall be unlawful for any person over 16 years of age, with the intent to conceal his identity, wear any mask, hood, or other device, whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered, so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be or appear in any public place, or upon any private property in this Commonwealth, without first having obtained from the owner or tenant thereof consent to do so in writing. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to persons (i) wearing traditional holiday costumes; (ii) engaged in professions, trades, employment, or other activities, and wearing protective masks which are deemed necessary for the physical safety of the wearer or other persons; (iii) engaged in any bona fide theatrical production or masquerade ball; or (iv) wearing a mask, hood, or other device for bona fide medical reasons upon (a) the advice of a licensed physician or osteopath, and carrying on his person an affidavit from the physician or osteopath specifying the medical necessity for wearing the device, and the date on which the wearing of the device will no longer be necessary, and providing a brief description of the device, or (b) the declaration of a disaster or state of emergency by the Governor in response to a public health emergency, where the emergency declaration expressly waives this section, defines the mask appropriate for the emergency, and provides for the duration of the waiver. The violation of any provisions of this section is a Class 6 felony.”
The Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante.
Heath Ledger stars as archvillain The Joker, and Aaron Eckhart plays Dent. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast as Rachel Dawes. Returning from Batman Begins are Gary Oldman as Gordon, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.