Virginia man Jamar K. Washington was arrested in Virginia Beach and charged with a felony after running into a movie theater wearing a clown mask last October. Washington and his friend, Blake Newton, bought the masks and had been wearing them throughout the day before going to the Regal Columbus Theater and scaring moviegoers.
In Virginia, wearing a mask in public is a Class 6 felony and there are few exceptions to the law. The only time wearing a mask is legal is for holiday celebrations, employment, medical necessity or during a disaster. The law traces its roots back to when KKK members would wear cloaks and hoods over their heads. It has been revised several times since its inception in 1960, but very few exceptions have been added, The Inquisitr reports.
After entering the theater, the two men caused a panic and ended up trying to run away from police. They were eventually caught by the department’s K-9 unit. The men claim that they just wanted to watch a movie, but cops felt that their behavior was particularly insensitive and foolish considering the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. The men denied knowledge of the shooting in Colorado.
Washington plead guilty to the felony charge and will be sentenced on June 18. The maximum sentence for a Class 6 felony in Virginia includes a $2,500 fine and five years in prison. Blake Newton will be in court Tuesday to face the same charges.