A man in California, wearing a Joker mask, took police on a lengthy car chase after reportedly attracting the attention of law enforcement by standing up with half of his body out of a vehicle's sun roof and making vulgar gestures. According to CBS 2 in Los Angeles, the unidentified driver was arrested on charges of failure to yield after aggressive driving and hanging out with much of his body outside of the moving BMW. His passenger was detained but ultimately not arrested. The suspect apparently got out of the car before the police surrounded his passenger and abandoned her, heading to the beach where he (among other things) helped bury a stranger in the sand before surrendering the California Highway Patrol.
While CBS 2 struggled with what he was dressed as, and some accounts have suggested he might have been trying to emulate the look of Joaquin Phoenix's Joker from Todd Phillips's upcoming origin movie, the mask itself seems to be one that came packaged with a trade paperback collection of Batman: Death of the Family by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Jonathan Glapion. The man's wardrobe did not scream "Joker" to us, but who knows? Maybe he was going for his own unique take.
The Joker is a relatively popular choice for criminal disguises. Being well known, relatively easy to replicate, and -- especially since the Heath Ledger era -- pretty generally accepted as creepy, it makes for an obvious disguise. In one particularly sad case, a mass shooter in Aurora, Colorado, reportedly called himself The Joker while staging an attack on a late night screening of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. There is no official confirmation that he said that, but given the fact that he had dyed his hair a garish shade of red and elected to attack a Batman movie, the rumor took hold in the days following the attack.
Per the official synopsis, Joker centers around the iconic arch-nemesis and is an original, standalone story not seen before on the big screen. The exploration of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a man disregarded by society, is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale. Joker hits theaters on October 4th.