It turns out that school might not be the best place to cosplay.
The Joker is a great villain, and no matter which incarnation you're most immediately familiar with, he's also got quite an iconic style. So at conventions you're bound to see tons of Heath Ledgers, Cesar Romeros, Jack Nicholsons and every version in between. One place you're less likely to find a Joker cosplay?
In your college classroom.
But student Christian Smith didn't have time to change into his Joker costume between classes and Pittsburgh Comic Con, so he figured he wouldn't cause too much fuss if he showed up on campus in full supervillain regalia.
Unfortunately, things took a downward turn for Smith when he was pulled out of class by campus police after, apparently, numerous calls were made complaining about Smith's attire. While he was released, it wasn't long after that he was questioned again and told, in no uncertain terms, that he was to remove the Joker makeup immediately.
This is where things get ugly. Smith refused and, allegedly, spit on one officer and then assaulted another before being forcefully removed from campus in a squad car.
The result? Smith spent four days in jail and has been charged on eight counts, two of them felony charges.
Carlow University has released the following statement:
Carlow University is confident in the actions of university police in protecting the rights and privileges of the student involved and ensuring the safety of its students and the campus community. In order to protect the privacy of the student, we cannot comment further regarding internal actions taken.
Smith's attorney, Phillip DiLucente, on the other hand, feels that "Carlow is just completely overreacting to this" and says, "we’re hoping this case doesn’t go any further in the court system, from either side."
Now, on one hand, Smith sounds like he's guilty of assaulting a public safety officer, but, on the other, Smith was also being harassed for what amounted to wearing a costume for a specific event.
Eight counts is an awful lot to lay at the feet of a 21-year-old kid over one relatively mild incident, but maybe that's what you get for dressing up like a well-known (fictional) psychopath with homicidal tendencies.
What do you think? Is the school going overboard, or did Smith step that far out of line?
(via Bleeding Cool)