Timothy O'Donnell allegedly set fire to a police SUV in Chicago over the weekend while wearing a mask from Todd Phillips' Joker. The 31-year old South Side resident has been arrested and charged for the act. The incident occurred last Saturday during one of the many George Floyd protests taking place across the United States. The weekend saw some violent outbursts against law enforcement, but the protests since then have widely been more peaceful and organized for all parties involved.
Timothy O'Donnell was charged with arson in U.S. District Court earlier this week. O'Donnell was pretty easy to spot in his Joker mask, along with his long hair and tattoos. Apparently, there's not a whole lot of people who have a tattoo of the word "pretty" carved into their necks. He allegedly approached a parked police SUV and placed a lit object into the car's gas tank, which caused it to burst into flames. A few images of O'Donnell have been circulating online since this weekend and they don't look good for his case. Florida Joker has nothing on Chicago Joker.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Durkin told the judge Timothy O'Donnell "faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years behind bars." O'Donnell was not alone in his attempt to watch police vehicles burn over the weekend. According to Chicago officials, around 90 city vehicles, "mostly police cars, were damaged in the violence." At least 20 vehicles were completely destroyed during the protests. Across the United States similar acts took place against law enforcement while looting also took place.
Timothy O'Donnell is not the first person to dress as the Clown Prince of Crime from Joker. Another man has been doing it in Minnesota, where George Floyd was murdered. Joseph Pudwill believes that Joaquin Phoenix's take on the character "has become a model of social injustice." Pudwill also says he has "fallen in love with this character and I think today it serves to push the message," when asked about wearing the Joker makeup out on the street. Pudwill took the peaceful approach to the character, while O'Donnell cranked it up a few notches, which will probably earn him some time in jail when the dust settles.
A man also dressed as Batman from Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy over the weekend. He was basically there for photo ops and to go viral on social media, which he accomplished. Another person went the Marvel Comics route and dressed as Spider-Man to crawl all over the Brooklyn Bridge to protest in a non-violent way. The protests are still occurring in cities all over the United States and they will likely continue for the foreseeable future, especially in Washington D.C. in front of the White House, where President Donald Trump resides. Extra security measures have been put in place and Trump luckily already inspected the bunker, so he has that going for him. CBS Chicago was the first to report on the Joker torching a police SUV.