Approximately 2:00PM local time, numerous reports were made to Winchester authorities describing “a suspicious male…wearing a black cape and carrying a sword”, police stated.
In addition, “Police have received several similar reports over the last week,” officials added.
Upon arrival at the designated location, police officers collaborated with the Winchester Police Department and arrested the thirty-one-year-old Jeremy Putnam.
Just as described by terrified locals, photos of the assailant released by the police display Putnam with green hair and face paint matching that of the popular villain played by Heath Ledger in the Batman sequel The Dark Knight.
Authorities detained Putnam charging him with publicly wearing a mask, a crime considered a felony according to Virginia law.
However, the anti-mask law in place would take more than simply concealing ones face to violate.
In the incident report, Winchester police referenced the Virgina Code 18.2-422 which states:
“It shall be unlawful for any person over 16 years of age, with the intent to conceal his identity, wear any mask, hood, or other device, whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered, so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be or appear in any public place,” states Virginia Code 18.2-422.
In accordance with its violation, the individual must be over the age of sixteen and specifically wearing said mask “with the intent to conceal his identity.”
Such laws have been implemented in order to deter various types of criminal intent. These laws have a long history of enactment, tying back to measures taken against the activities of notoriously masked criminal groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.
Putnam is currently detained at the state’s Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center with a $2,000 bond.
“Officers do not believe there are additional suspects, but want to remind the community of the seriousness of the crime,” Police released in a statement.