Jeremy Putman, 31, of Virginia was dressed up as Heath Ledger’s super-villain The Joker on Friday, complete with cape and sword. He has now been charged with the crime of wearing a mask in public. According to Winchester Police, at around 2 p.m. their emergency communications center received several calls. Each person claimed to have seen a suspicious looking male carrying a sword and wearing a black cape. Reportedly, while police received similar calls during the last week, they do not believe there are additional men running around looking like The Joker in capes at this time.

They believe it was probably Putman then, too.

Dressed like The Joker but heading to jail

According to a post on their website, the Winchester Police Department arrested Putman on the 2600 block of South Pleasant Valley Road and took him into custody. Putman was officially charged on March 24 with wearing a mask in public. Putman is now languishing in the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center where he is being held under a $2,000 bond. Reportedly the charge of wearing a mask is a Class 6 Felony and Putman could face up to five years in jail for his stunt.

Jail for wearing a mask?

While many people will find it surprising to hear that wearing a mask is a felony, the Winchester Police said in their report that they want to remind the public of the seriousness of this crime.

They went on to cite Virginia Code 18.2-422 which details the law. Breaking it down, it basically says that as a general rule, people cannot wear masks or face coverings that disguise their identity in public.

Comicbook describes images of Putman in his costume, saying he had obviously been inspired by Heath Ledger’s Joker from “The Dark Knight” for his prank.

Putman dyed his hair green and applied powder white face paint to get the cracked effect and then used dark eye shadow along with red lipstick smeared as a “smile.” He certainly looks the part in the mug shot shared by the Winchester Police Department, where Putman also appears to be wearing colored contact lenses for effect.

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