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Virginia man dressed as Joker charged with wearing mask in public

WINCHESTER, Va. — Virginia police wasn’t joking about the state’s mask law when they arrested a man who dressed and painted his face to look like The Joker on Friday.

Police received several calls about a “suspicious” man dressed as The Joker roaming around the town about 2 p.m.

Officers spotted Jeremy Putnam, 31, wearing a black cape and carrying a sword while walking on Papermill and South Pleasant Valley roads, police said in a news release.

Jeremy Putman, 31, was arrested and charged with wearing a mask in public. (Winchester Police Department)

He was arrested a short time later and charged with wearing a mask in public. If convicted, he faces five years in jail.

Virginia’s mask law forbids anyone over 16 years old to wear anything that would “conceal” his or her identity in public. Though Putnam’s “Joker” makeup wasn’t exactly a physical mask, it still covered up his identity.

Any “hood or other device” is also included in the ban.

Traditional holiday and theater costumes are part of the exception.