A man has been charged with torching a police car while wearing a Joker mask during a violent George Floyd protest in Chicago, according to federal prosecutors.
Timothy O’Donnell, 31, was filmed looking like Batman’s anarchy-loving archnemesis as he opened the squad car’s gas tank and put in a lit object as the officer’s investigated unrest on Saturday, a criminal complaint says.
The car burst into flames — as seen behind O’Donnell in a movie scene-like photo of him walking away that was included in the complaint. Other images showed him sitting against a lamppost as the car started to burn.
Despite wearing the mask — identical to one Joaquin Phoenix wore in scenes in “The Joker” — O’Donnell was identified thanks to a distinctive tattoo of the word “PRETTY” on his throat, prosecutors said.
“Law enforcement recovered a ‘Joker’ mask from a bedroom” during the search, the complaint says, and he was arrested on the spot.
“O’Donnell admitted that he was the person wearing the ‘joker’ mask in the photos,” the complaint said.
He faces one count of arson, with a maximum sentence of 20 years’ prison, prosecutors said.
“Anyone involved in destructive behavior – such as setting fire to a police car – should know that federal law enforcement will use all tools available to us to hold them accountable,” said US Attorney John R. Lausch said.
It was part of a rampage that saw at least 90 city vehicles damaged, with about 20 cars destroyed, according to CBS Chicago.