Joker mask causes freak out at Boulder movie theater, teen facing charges

Joker image 1.jpg
The Joker.
It's been less than four months since James Holmes fired shots during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, killing twelve and injuring dozens more in one of Colorado's worst tragedies. But that didn't stop one student from wearing a "Joker" mask into a theater yesterday, prompting a group of movie-goers to run away in fear. The student says he was trying to scare his friends, but Boulder police didn't find the gimmick all that funny.

Officials with the Boulder Police Department reported last night that they arrested a seventeen-year-old male (he's a part-time CU student) after "five people...felt imminent fear for their personal safety and ran from the theater because of their fear."

The teen, whose name is not being released because he is a minor, was charged with five counts after the group of movie-goers at the Century Boulder Theater reported that the suspect donned a clown hat and a "Joker" mask inside one of the theaters.

Aurora theater shooting families.jpeg
Sam Levin
Families of those who died in the Aurora theater shooting speaking at a press conference.
In the immediate aftermath of the July 20 shooting at the Aurora Century 16 theater, there were a string of scares across the country related to the incident, with law enforcement officials launching evacuations and making arrests sparked by fears of possible copycats. In early August, for instance, a man was arrested in Thorton for bringing a gun to a movie theater, even though he had a concealed-carry permit.

But given the connection to the Batman movie, it's no surprise that a Joker mask might lead to this kind of commotion.

Continue for more details on the incident yesterday in a Boulder movie theater.



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34 comments
Lisa Hill
Lisa Hill

Somebody beat the crap outta that guy!

Mary Maybee
Mary Maybee

Long jail term, minor or not! Where are these minors parents?! This is way more than bad taste! I love movies and go all the time and now I am scared and sit by an exit every time I go and plan my escape route as soon as I sit down!

matchu
matchu

And he knew exactly what he was doing

matchu
matchu

It is illegal to yell "fire" in a crowded place, the concept is the same. He could have gotten someone killed by causing a mass scare and someone could have been trampled to death or he could have been shot. He wasn't charged for anything he didn't do, he was charged according to what he did, and that was being a menace.

Darci Davenport
Darci Davenport

Charged with what-having poor judgement? Heck then almost everyone I know would be in trouble?

Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

He must of tea lied the reaction he would get so he should sit in jail a couple days to deter other idiots. It was mass murder

Ben Barr
Ben Barr

I would worry more about a guy in a joker mask with a gun, than a guy in a joker mask. Next, the War on "Costumes" Wouldn't want to be caught with clown makeup paraphernalia after that. Why so serious Boulder Theater?!

Liv Michaelson
Liv Michaelson

can't imagine that's actually against the law...

Trent Dozier
Trent Dozier

What he did was stupid considering the circumstances...but criminal charges are excessive...someone should just whoop his ass and he'll learn.

Jordan Cromwell
Jordan Cromwell

Good way to get an ass whooping or shot... Still not illegal though

Nick McGrail
Nick McGrail

they're being necessarily cautious. imagine being in a movie theater in colorado after that shit happens and someone walks in with a joker mask. everyone would freak out. it's not illegal to wear a mask, and in certain circumstances it's cool to wear a costume to a movie premier, but the very specific details of this kid's arrest definitely made him arrest worthy.

Marcus Netters
Marcus Netters

First I can no longer d dress up for midnight screenings of movies. Then every movie theatre has to tell me where exits are in the theatre. I'm going to blame Obama. But seriously this is stupid

Eric Goberman
Eric Goberman

Have they started enjoying their new pot law early ? Tasteless, Yes. Stupid, Yes. Illegal ? I don't think a joker mask counts as armed and dangerous. He didn't hide, run, lie, yell at everyone in theater, make any threatening actions or words. Hardly menacing.

Stacey Rogers
Stacey Rogers

Not respectful or wise, but arrest-worthy? Really?

Frank Tagader
Frank Tagader

Let him share a cell with James Holmes for a couple of weeks.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

I see punishing the attitude, but there's no law against masks right?

Jame Koopman
Jame Koopman

Is it illegal or against theater policy?

Natasha Schwertley
Natasha Schwertley

We can fear innocent things and get people charged with menacing? Ok, well, I fear for my life if someone wears a green shirt. Therefore, everyone wearing a green shirt should be arrested. Makes as much sense....

Drew Sidener
Drew Sidener

I'd say he got the reaction he was seeking.

Denver Tina
Denver Tina

The teen faces charges for what exactly?

Chris Estus
Chris Estus

Does Boulder have a law against joker masks?

Sean Bracken
Sean Bracken

I think it was tasteless for him to do especially after the Aurora tragedy.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

When Masks are Outlawed, only Outlaws will have Masks!

 

Monkey
Monkey

 @matchu Like anyone who looks Arab, or pilots a jet after 9/11 should be considered a menace? I'm surprised trick or treaters weren't arrested for wearing joker masks. I bet if someone pulled a gun on this kid, we would hear all about how people are over reacting, but if they run away, a mask magically turns into a viable threat. I understand it was not appropriate, but menacing....please. Maybe if he was carrying toy guns or something, I'd go along with that.

observantreader
observantreader

 @Monkey  @matchu 

Definition of MENACE

1: a show of intention to inflict harm : threat

2a : one that represents a threat : danger

b : an annoying person

 

That would be a Yes on all three counts.  Sad when the state has to take over for parents who failed to teach their children decency. 

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