Clermont police interview suspect in Obama 'Joker' posters
CLERMONT - Clermont police have interviewed one suspect who is admitting to putting up the dozens of posters pasted around the city depicting President Obama as the Joker character from the Batman film The Dark Knight, city officials confirmed.
Assistant City Manager Darren Gray said city officials have an individual "admitting to putting up 500" of the posters.
Clermont Police Capt. Eric Jensen said the male individual has admitted to putting up some signs, but investigators suspect others were involved and their investigation is continuing.
"We have talked to an individual," Jensen said. "He only admitted to some of it...We're still tracking down leads and talking to folks. We have not arrested anybody."
At this point officials are not sure how much damage was caused by the signs or the dollar amount associated with the clean-up.
Dozens of the posters were pasted around the city earlier this week. A pair of the posters were pasted to a Clermont Post Office collection box. They prompted the postmaster to contact the Postal Inspector's office, which is looking at potential federal crimes for defacing federal property.
City officials, meanwhile, are trying to determine what local crimes might be associated with the posting of the images on public and private properties. They've also been busy ripping down the sticky signs because they're a violation of city ordinance regarding illegal signs.
Jensen said he doesn't have a good count on the number of posters put up because, he said, "People are going out and tearing them down."
In a press release put out late today, Jensen said the suspect "also asked if he could video tape the encounter with the officers." Clermont Police declined that request.
"Currently we are still conducting interviews of victims, witnesses, and other suspects who were placing the Obama Joker Poster throughout our city," Jensen said in the statement. "We believe that the postings are the result of multiple suspects. We are hopeful that we can develop enough information to present charges of vandalism to the State Attorney's Office for review."
He did not have a specific reason why the individual who admitted to putting up the posters spent so much time sticking them to surfaces around the city, but Jensen suspects it may have something to do with a contest linked to the image of the President in white face and smeared lipstick, like the Joker. [link to www.orlandosentinel.com]