In one our more irresponsible traditions, the media tends to sensationalize any random event that bears a passing resemblance to a bigger tragedy. So today, a man in a Brevard County, Florida move theater was arrested on an outstanding warrant. His hair was dyed red, and he was wearing weird makeup, but despitenumerous news sites that have the words dressed like the Joker in their headlines
, he was in no way actually dressed to resemble the popular Batman villain.
Police in Melbourne received a call that man was walking around a movie theater in makeup. According to WFTV, the man, Christopher Sides, 21, was seen "pacing outside the theater," walked into the theater, had a ticket to see The Expendables 2, was told to leave by the manager, and then was arrested outside the theater.
He didn't actually do anything in the theater to justify an arrest. But he did have an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on a previous misdemeanor drug charge. Sides was cooperative with officers and made no threats in the theater. He had no weapons on him.
Sides's mug shot shows his hair dyed pink and his face streaked with black makeup. In footage of Sides being taken into custody, he's wearing blue jeans and a black T-shirt.
It's hard to tell, but it appears that his makeup might have been a bit more elaborate when he was in the theater. (Sides, by the way, apparently has a thing for dying his hair. In the mug shot from his previous arrest, his hair appears to be died blue.)
The Joker is almost always depicted as having green hair, white face makeup, red lips, and black eye makeup. He's usually seen in a purple suit.
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Now, of course, James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, wasn't actually dressed like the Joker either. His hair was dyed bright orange, but he did, according to witnesses, say he was the Joker.
In light of the Aurora tragedy, Sides was probably being an asshole and asking for trouble by walking into a theater looking like a deranged clown (even if that clown better resembles Ronald McDonald's weird goth brother), but he was not dressed like the Joker.
And the Florida media is being an asshole for sensationalizing it by pretending he was.