Kid dressed as The Joker arrested for supervillainous crime of poster theft


Dettman says: "Some kid dressed up as the Joker was caught stealing movie posters from a theatre's lobby and was consequently arrested for it." Holy hooligans! Phony 'Joker' arrested in Michigan (


  1. Haha, there was a 1969 episode of Dragnet where a kid did just the same thing–dressed up as a superhero called the “Crimson Crusader” to cover up for his own inadequacies and steal movie posters.

  2. There is no telephone listing under his name in the Three Rivers area.

    …because he lives in his parents’ basement.

  3. I was reminded of the “Crimson Crusader” episode as well. I think Alan White wrote about another real-life example of much the same thing in Delinator one time. It’s been a while, but I think this was somebody who went to great lengths to steal stuff from the Ackermansion.

  4. American justice–what a joke. Our answer to everything is to throw people in jail. That kid is probably no scofflaw, just doing something we might have all done at the same age. He’s lucky he didn’t get “tazed” (electrocuted) and beaten by the ruffians commonly knows as “cops”.

  5. I’ve heard of real-life people dressing up as supervillains and committing crimes. I don’t often here about people dressing up as superheroes and preventing crimes.

    I feel that somehow, I’ve been lied to.

  6. Held accountable is one thing, thrown in the American gulag is another. I was thrown in the American gulag not so long ago for asking questions out of turn at a book reading held at Portland’s venerable Powell’s Bookstore. Some asswipe was trying to malign the entire Arab world and would have the audience believe that they were all dangerous extremists (even Sam Harris, the well known Atheist writer, is guilty of this).

    I won’t go into the full story here except to say that I was accosted by some plain-clothes, thimble rig bully security thugs. When I had my day in court, I questioned the Mr. Huff (the Powell’s security asshole) for five hours on the stand. The prosecution had five witnesses lined up, but after the first day of questioning Mr. Huff, the corrupt judge, Cheryl Albrecht, told the DA that she did need to bother to call he witnesses the next day! I caught Mr. Huff in so many lies, but since Powell’s is an important book store in Portland with plenty of liberal patronage, there was no way the judge the was going to rule in my favor. All in all though it was a good exercise because I got to experience first hand the way the “justice system (racket) in the U.S. works.

    So when you are arrested in the U.S., this is when your Kafkaesque nightmare begins. If you happened to have had consensual sex with someone in exchange for cash, you can expect your name and mug shot to appear on a public website. I’m not sure, but they probably do this even if you are found “not guilty”.

    Few people ever plead “not guilty” because they fear reprisals from the court. For petty “crimes” the judge will carefully explain that the penalty could be up to 6 months in jail, $5,000 fine, 2 years probabtion, etc. This is for the tiniest infraction! But if you plead guilty, your penalty might just be a fine and 40 hours of community service. Who would ever risk it? Few do.

    But if you don’t risk it, then you have a record. If you want to rent an apartment, get a job, obtain a professional license, apply for college, etc, your criminal record will follow you for the rest of your life. It is not necessary for you to even be convicted. Arrest is all that is necessary for you to have this record. Then you have to explain yourself to your prospective employer, landlord, dean, etc.

    This is what this kid is going to have to go through for his youthful indiscretion. Do I think the penalty is way too harsh? A life time of social stigma, a huge fine, possible a jail sentence, etc? OF course it is.

    I had to pay the court $500, was placed on probation for a year, had to do a few weeks of slave labor, and narrowly escaped a jail sentence of weeks or months.

    Americans don’t like to think they have a gulag so the common idiot will just say things like, “well, you’re supposed to obey the law, and if you don’t, there’s consequences!”. As if that were some kind of excuse for sending a kid up the river.

    In America, you are not allowed to seriously question the gulag because it’s kind of a serious matter, and we would rather focus our political thoughts on important matters like whether gays should be allowed to serve in the military, or whether Barrack was wrong to question whether the “surge” would work.

    When I was a kid, I was nearly thrown in jail for overdue library books in Largo, FL. Other people in that jurisdiction actually were thrown in jail for overdue library books and it even made news headlines around the country.

    No one here is suggesting that he not be held accountable. But the solution to harmless adolescent mischief is not jail.

    Of course, if he had stolen some of the concession candy, or a even bucket of popcorn, it would be a different matter altogether. In that case I’d be all for the death penalty.

  7. I have a friend with an eight foot tall Borat holding an American flag on the outdoor balcony of his apartment. It’s hilarious and keeps the squirrels away.

  8. @ Pyros.

    And your long angry rant has what to do with this kids case? It hasn’t even been heard yet!

  9. interesting story Pyros, what specifically did they nail you for? Creating a disturbance? What?

  10. I got away with so much stupid crap at age 20 and never got caught at any of it. As far as adolescent mischief goes, this guy is bush league.

    He does, however, have style.

  11. It really is Jimmy Cooper! In fact, between the two photos we have Dr. Jimmy and Mr. Jim (I think, in reverse order.)

    If it’s a first offense, he can plead for probation, and can even serve that with deferred adjudication. After serving successfully, he can have pay a lawyer to have the arrest record expunged. It all depends on how much money he or his parents put down.

    This kid has a lot going for him, actually. He’s already internet famous. He obviously likes movies. Careers have been started with less…


    One may speak of condign punishment. Why speak of punishment at all? To spell it out, I know from personal experience how people in the U.S. get fucked by the courts. Basically everyone gets fucked by the courts in the U.S. In my opinion, getting fucked by the courts is the opposite of justice. In fact, the whole idea of justice is quite problematic.

    In the old days, the matter of a kid running off with a few posters would have been shrugged at. At worst he it would have been appropriately handled by dragging the kid out by his ear and telling him not to come back for two weeks.

    Now such kids are thrown in jail because he must be held “accountable”. Now he has a record that will follow him for life. So your are saying that such a thing doesn’t bother you? It should, my friend, it should. When they come for you one day you’ll care.


    Disorderly conduct was the charge. I used to show up at the readings at Powells that are held just about every day. It didn’t really matter who the author was or what the book was about. I would just sit in the audience, and after the reading was over, I would ask as many questions as I could think of. I would even occasionally buy a damn book. I began to notice that after an otherwise dull reading, if I started hammering questions, other people would join in, and before long there was a bit of discussion–something ordinarily frowned upon in America.

    My thoughts would always turn to what it might have been like during intimate book readings in the far less sterile intellectual environment of the late 19th century. I imagined passionate arguments between Voltaire and some other person just as passionate about their idea, and the crowd enjoying the back and forth.

    Up to this point of my going to Powell’s, I never spoke out of turn, never did anything to raise an eyebrow, all questions being asked in calm, non-threatening voice. But on this occasion, the reading was being given by this Jewish guy who had converted to Christianity, after he had actually converted to Islam from Judaism. He was on the terrorist watch list for something, but he was able to save his skin, according to story, by working for Homeland Security.

    So the guy gets up, and, speaking to a largely right wing audience, begins to rip the Arab world. He began telling everyone how Wahabism was so bad, and how all Arabs were being inculcated to hate the West and all this bullshit.

    So I asked him to give some explication on what poisonous set of beliefs we Americans must be labouring under to just go dropping bombs on some country that had never attacked up and never did us any wrong. To what wicked doctrine are we beholden to, I asked him.

    Of course, as an American exceptionalist, he assumed a smug haughty air, and did his best to justify his point of view while, at the same time, in front of his sympathetic audience, trying to make me look like a fool.

    Now I know that the incineration of innocent children is nothing to really much to take a stand about in America for most people, especially if they have brown skin, but I personally was upset at what I viewed as a toxic set of beliefs that was resulting in just that, and I resolved to let the asshole on stage know how I felt, the rest of the audience be damned.

    So I asked questions of turn. I insisted that he answer them, and I frankly wasn’t concerned with all of the other bullshit questions that were being asked while all of this was going on. People in Iraq were dying, and I didn’t feel like the right questions were being asked.

    Frankly, I was prepared to be asked to leave. I expected it. But no one did. Finally, after the reading and Q&A, this guy from the audience came up to me and made the comment that I would have been better received if I had asked the questions in a different way. At a certain point he put his hand on my shoulder, and I stepped back and asked him not to touch me. At this point I was literally swarmed by about five plain clothes security thugs. I had no idea who they were for a moment as they had taken me a little by surprise. They asked me to leave, and I told them to get lost.

    This happened rather fast, and as soon as I realized what was going on, I told them I was on my way out the door. I began exiting the building. While doing so, without any kind of resistance, physical or verbal, Mr. Huff, and his security contingent threatened to tackle me, spray me with mace, etc. They also told me that I was under arrest and not allowed to leave the store so it was confusing as to what they wanted me to do, really.

    The readings at Powell’s take place on one of the top floors, if not the top floor open to the public, and there is quite a distance to any exit. So Mr. Huff issued threats for quite a long time. When I finally did reach the exit at ground floor, Mr. Huff and several of his colleagues in bullying followed me out of the store down about a block all the while threatening to “mace” me.

    I crossed Burnside, and then thought to myself that I should stand up to such intimidation, and that’s exactly what I did. The sidewalk outside of the store is public property from which one is presumably allowed to speak freely. It is from this area that I told Mr. Huff that he was a bully, and if he wanted to mace me for saying it, he was more than free to do so.

    I knew he had called the cops, but I did not feel as if I had done anything wrong. Little did I know that Mr. Huff had told employees at the store that I had gone to my car to get gun, and this is what they in turn told police. So when they showed up, that is, Portland’s snarling, pugnacious police, (always ready to taze ya!)I was immediately hauled off to jail without further recourse. They listened to Huff’s story, and the matter was decided right there on the spot.

    When I had my day in court, pleading “not guilty”, I foolishly chose not to have a jury trial. The dishonorable Cheryl Albrecht, darling judge of Portland’s liberal intelligentsia presided. She, the one who sits in judgment every day of people who have “addictions” when it is quite clear that she has her own addiction to food and wearing too much cheap makeup.

    I was not found guilty of trespassing, as originally charged, but was of the charge of disorderly conduct. I had no attorney even though I had submitted to the court sufficient proof of penury. I asked to see the documents that spelled out the rules for making such determinations, and was told that was not privy to them. I mentioned this to a person in the courthouse one day to a person who happened to be a judge, and he had the thing faxed over to him in about three minutes.

  13. Pyros,

    I can tell you must be fun at parties. This is just a guess, but I bet everyone is out to get you, right?

  14. @Vonmises

    Of the parties you’ve gone to, how many people, on average, are “fun” at them? One or two at best probably. Many people who are beyond college age regard parties as awkward social events. Even if you were correct, I wouldn’t count it as some kind of great flaw.

    Secondly, for a man whom you might think thinks that everyone is “out to get [him]” I can think of nothing that might fuel that suspicion more than the accusation the he thinks everyone is out to get him. I mean, clearly you’re out to get me.

    “Fun at parties”
    “Everyone out to get you”

    2 sentences. 2 Cliches.

    Is everyone out to get you? Probably not, but I am. Who cares if you’re not great at parties if you happen to be great at swatting flies?

  15. I was out in LA earlier this month, and they have some huge Dark Knight movie posters on the wall around a construction site there (It was on Highland Avenue, I believe, just north of Hollywood Blvd.). These things were huge, 6 foot by 30 foot, I believe.

    Here’s a picture I took of them from the Hollywood and Highland center:

    The point of all of this is that my friends and I scoped these out with the intent to come back with a switchblade or 3 to try to cut one down and keep it. We checked them out, then headed back to our car. As we drove away, we noticed a security guard eyeing up the poster we had been checking. We passed by the area several times over a number of days, and that guard was always there. Apparently, stealing The Dark Knight posters is big business. So I feel this kid’s pain, but at least we didn’t make it obvious and dress up like a movie character to attempt the crime.

  16. “When I had my day in court, I questioned the Mr. Huff (the Powell’s security asshole) for five hours on the stand. The prosecution had five witnesses lined up, but after the first day of questioning Mr. Huff, the corrupt judge, Cheryl Albrecht, told the DA that she did need to bother to call he witnesses the next day!”

    The man acting as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

  17. Poor kid. I’d reckon most of the vintage movie posters that now sell on eBay for thousands of dollars were originally stolen from cinema lobbies. We readily accept this. Poster theft is an accepted fact of life, and particularly of adolescence.

    But do it while dressed as the Joker and the media’s all up in your ass.

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