A month after the much-publicized massacre at a cinema theater in Aurora, Colorado, police arrested a masked man as he was leaving a cinema theater in Melbourne last week. He was dressed and made up as the Batman character Joker.
Christoper Sides, 21, of Cocoa, Australia, had white and black paint covering his face, as well as pink hair to better resemble the crazed fictional character. WFTV
reports he had purchased a ticket for the Expendables 2 at the Premiere Theater on West Hibiscus Boulevard.
The man apparently made no threats and wasn't carrying any weapons. He watched the film and was apprehended on his way out of the cinema, after law enforcement officers were called.
Unfortunately for Sides, when the police arrived they found out that there was a warrant out for his arrest. He had missed a court hearing for a previous misdemeanor charge. They put him in custody immediately, and he was sent to Brevard County Jail.
There is no knowledge of his motivation for dressing up like a masked villain shortly after the massacre in Colorado, but acquaintances speculate it was an attempt at getting 15 minutes of fame.
"He was never a violent person, just an exhibitionist is the best way to put it. [He] liked the attention," a friend of Sides says.
Others believed him to be dangerous.
"He was very unstable, swinging samurai swords. He's had a lot of confrontations with a lot of the neighbors," former neighbor Joe Astrologo argues.
WFTV also uncovered the fact that the suspect had a history of mental health issues, having been committed involuntarily 3 times in the last 3 years. WFTV reports he looked content and was “grinning ear-to-ear with makeup running down his face, even sticking his tongue out” as he was being filmed during his arrest.
"The Dark Knight Rises" was playing in Colorado during the shooting that grabbed so much media attention just a few weeks ago. This could be how this young man got the idea to dress up like the Joker.