|This guy was arrested for wearing a 'Joker'|
makeup in Virginia. Apparently, it's illegal
to be out in public wearing a mask in Virginia.
That's why Halloween is so popular.
Some people take that dress-up ethos to other times of year. Some lawmkers, and some police agencies, hate it, hate it when you do that.
Apparently, wearing a mask presumes you will commit a crime any minute now. So some jurisdictions go after masked people, just to show their law enforcement cred, I guess.
So it was in Virginia recently, police arrested Jeremy Putman, 31, for walking around the town of Winchester dressed as the Joker, complete with makeup on his face.
He was also carrying a sword, which police didn't seem so worried about. Instead, they nailed Putman for wearing a mask.
I have no idea why Putman wanted to walk around town dressed like the Joker, and he didn't commit any kind of violent crime. But who knows what he intended?
The original intent of these laws was pretty good: Lawmakers didn't want to make these easy for robbers, or the Ku Klux Klan.
However, like almost every well-intentioned statute, some law enforcement types will always find a way to abuse the law.
In any event, police are charging Putman with a felony. According to Winchester Police, "Officers do not believe there are additional suspects, but want to remind the community of the seriousness of the crime."
Really? Serious? Some nutcase decides he wants to dress up as the Joker and that's a crime against humanity?
The Virginia law has exemptions for Halloween, theatrical performances and that kind of thing.
Still it wold have been nice in the case of Putman to have some discretion, to at least see what he was up to before automatically arresting him. Some people just like to play dress up.
It appears Putman is just an eccentric who likes dressing up as cartoon characters sometimes. He reported has no prior arrest records and people who know him say he's not scary or dangerous.
The arrest forced him out of his Walmart job, and Putnam says the arrest is ruining his reputation,