Saturday, 19 Jun 2021

‘Performance artist’ in Joker makeup accused of making terrorist threats

A man dressed as the Joker walks into a bar in Missouri.

“I’m gonna get something to drink. Soda,” he tells his followers on Facebook Live. “I don’t drink alcohol.”

The man in the clown makeup then launches into a tirade about the dangers of opioids.

“When you share this video, let them know that the Joker isn’t joking around when it comes to serious addiction,” he tells his audience. “You need to leave that stuff alone, inspire the children not to do it, you know what I mean?

“And, kill a few people while you’re at it.”

Police arrived at the scene a few minutes later and arrested the man, who identified himself in the video as 48-year-old Jeremy Joseph Garnier. Police have said he is 51 years old.

Garnier is now facing charges of making a terrorist threat in connection with a nearly hour-long Facebook Live stream he recorded on Monday, during which he can be seen wearing a Joker costume at a mall and a bar.

Police say they were called to the mall in University City for a report of a “disturbance” involving a man in a costume on Monday night.

“The caller(s) further advised the suspect was making threats via the Facebook Live app,” police said in a news release on Wednesday. Officers eventually caught up with the suspect at Blueberry Hill, a nearby music bar, where he was arrested “without incident for various violations.”

Garnier has since been charged with making a first-degree terroristic threat and is being held without bond, according to police.

Garnier’s nearly hour-long video shows him walking around a shopping mall, chatting with people and repeating several of Heath Ledger’s lines from The Dark Knight.

“Why so serious?” he hisses at patrons in the shopping mall, before telling them that they’re being live-streamed on Facebook.

“I’m not making threats at all. No threats at all,” he says to security guards at the mall. “I’m not armed or dangerous.” He tells the guards he’s a “performance artist” with 3,000 viewers, before agreeing to leave the premises at their request.

“They came with three police cars. Four. Five,” he says as he walks out of the mall. “Wow, that’s amazing.”

Garnier can be seen getting into a car and driving for a few minutes before getting out to enter Blueberry Hill. Staff initially ask him for ID, but then give up and let him go inside.

“How y’all doing?” he says. “Why so serious?”

He orders a Sprite at the bar a few moments later. “I can’t be inebriated when I’m planning on, you know, killing a bunch of people!” he tells the bartender, who chuckles at the comment.

Police show up a minute later.

“I’m not armed and I weigh 150 pounds,” Garnier can be heard telling police at the end of his video, which was still up on his Facebook page Thursday afternoon. “I don’t have no weapons on me, I’m not gonna do nothing. You got me messed up.” He then waves his arms in jest. “Except all these bombs!”

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