The video began with an outstretched hand — covered by a purple glove — that entered the frame clutching a glass marijuana water bong.
“Where’s the Batman?” a maniacal voice whispered off-camera. “I’m coming for you Batman.”
Seconds later, a slender man with shaggy greenish-black hair, complete with clown’s makeup, and clad in a purple trench coat and pinstripe pants, waltzed onto the screen, his back to the camera.
“Please allow me to introduce myself — I’m the Joker,” he monologued.
In between puffs of marijuana, the clown super villain grinned menacingly while speaking of killing people, bombs, and a scheme to “take over the world." He promised to live stream it all — but only if enough people tuned in.
“I’m going to start killing people until this reaches a 1,000 [people watching],” the man rasped. “And once it reaches a 1,000, I’m going to go out in public and I’m going to kill more.”
At some point, he described his actions as "the shenanigans of a crazy, f--ked up dude."
The creepy recording could be the opening of a fan-made, found footage spin-off of the comic book antihero — except police say it was filmed Monday evening by Missouri tattoo artist Jeremy Garnier in his suburban St. Louis home.
But roughly an hour after the recording began, the 48-year-old was in handcuffs, grinning for a mugshot in smudged face paint, accused of uttering terroristic threats.
Oxygen.com viewed a copy of the video, which was deleted from Facebook following Garnier's arrest.
After more than 1,000 people supposedly began to watch his feed, he took his act on the road, and began speeding towards St. Louis. Garnier first arrived at a shopping mall. He posed for selfies, spoke with mall workers, and freestyle rapped in disguise, before police escorted him from the premises.
From there, Garnier descended on Delmar Loop, a bustling arts and restaurant district in the city’s northeast. He then strolled into popular dive bar Blueberry Hill, shuffled up to the bar, bragged to the bartender that nearly 2,000 people were watching — and promptly ordered a Sprite.
“I can’t be inebriated when I’m planning on, you know, killing a bunch of people,” Garnier told the bartender. “It’s not something you can do.”
Garnier then shifted his focus back to his followers, periodically using a magnifying glass to inspect his phone’s screen and how many people are watching.
“The reason I have your attention is to end the epidemic of opioid addiction and heroin overdoses, which are plaguing our society,” Garnier told the camera. “It’s the leading killer in people under 50 years of age. When you share this video, let them know that the Joker ain’t joking around when it comes to serious addiction."
But in his next breath, he added, “And kill a few people while you’re at it.”
Moments later, police barged into the bar and slapped handcuffs on the man while he continued to live stream.
“Get that phone out of his hand,” one officer can be heard saying off-camera shortly before the feed stops.
Police, who described Garnier as a “danger to the community,” charged him with one count of making terroristic threats, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Oxygen.com.
“We take all threats to the general public very seriously, especially when they involve threats with firearms and explosive devices,” Tim Swope, director of operations for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, told Oxygen.com. “We are very thankful the University City Police Department was able to intervene in this incident before anyone was harmed.”
Garnier appeared to joke about “killing” and “bombs” but his actions during the livestream were non-violent. He repeatedly states he’s not armed — and that’s it’s all a viral stunt to draw a spotlight to opioid addiction. He didn’t resist when officers arrested him later — and was even polite as they hauled him off.
“I’m not armed and I weigh 150 pounds,” he said shortly before his arrest. “I don’t have no weapons on me. I’m not going to do nothing … except for all these bombs.”
University City police declined to comment on the case on Thursday.
The St. Louis bar owner where Garnier was arrested also said the 48-year-old acted eccentrically, but was non-violent.
“After all of these years, I’ve seen so many unusual things, that I thought I’d seen them all,” Joe Edwards, Blueberry Hill’s owner, told Oxygen.com. “[Garnier] was peaceful when he was inside, he didn’t pull anything, he was just live streaming everything.”
The local entrepreneur said Blueberry Hill staff didn’t phone police on Garnier. Yet, he was unsure if the costumed man would be allowed back in his establishment. While some of the dive bar’s patrons supposedly cozied up to Garnier for selfies, Edwards did acknowledge his demeanor disturbed others.
“I think people were unnerved by his appearance, and all, and his seriousness, and the fact that he was live streaming it all,” Edwards said.
When mass murderer James Holmes dyed his hair orange and opened fire in an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre in 2012 at a viewing of "The Dark Knight" — a comic book flick synonymous with Heath Ledger’s performance of the Joker — America was become both enamored and terrified by the mystique of the demented clown. Although it was rumored — but since debunked — that Holmes’ rampage was inspired by the comic book character, the Joker’s influence and aura transcends continues to sow controversy.
Earlier this year, critics, including families of victims gunned down in Aurora, slammed Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the serial-killing antihero in the Oscar-nominated origin blockbuster “Joker,” claiming the film could incite similar mass shootings.
Garnier, a prolific battle rapper, who has more than 4,000 followers on Facebook, first gained popularity online under the artist name UNCLE DUBB. The man’s arrest stunned a number of his fans and followers, some of whom also took to social media to blast the charges, using the hashtag #freeDUBB.
“He wouldn’t have hurt anybody that night,” Garnier’s girlfriend, Lisa Mone, 44, told Oxygen.com.
Mone, an artist and mother of five, described Garnier as an “intelligent,” “harmless,” and “gentle person,” who’s a natural entertainer. She admitted her boyfriend’s antics may have been over the top, but also insisted the episode wasn’t worthy of jail time.
“I know he looked scary … but no he didn’t deserve to get arrested. He would never hurt anybody, ever.”
Mone, who stated she bought the Joker costume for Garnier, said the couple has been together for about five years.
She insisted her boyfriend isn’t “obsessed” with the psychotic jester he was portraying — and claimed the couple hasn’t yet watched Phoenix’s bombastic performance in "Joker."
“We haven’t even seen it, that’s what’s so crazy,” she said.
Instead, she said, Garnier is motivated by his social following.
“The more people that came to watch, the more that he got into the character,” she explained.
Mone also claimed Garnier, a recovering addict, disguised himself as the Joker to raise awareness around opioid addiction — but said he became hopelessly immersed in the character as more and more viewers came to his feed.
“He was playing a role for his viewers,” she added. “It was all about the numbers.”
Garnier’s days, his girlfriend described, are often consumed by hosting several live feeds on social media. A tattoo artist, he frequently livestreams clients he’s inking up. In other recordings, he crafts artisanal water pipes and recites rap lyrics.
Garnier allegedly suffers from bi-polar disorder and manic depression — conditions Mone said are exacerbated by years of trauma he’s incurred from spending years behind bars. Court records obtained by Oxygen.com show Garnier has slew of burglary and stealing convictions in Missouri dating back to 1990. His last stint in prison was about five years ago, she said.
Mone suspects one of Garnier’s live feed followers alerted police to his presence in Delmar Loop.
The man’s girlfriend also claimed the Joker stunt was also part of an ongoing social media “beef” Garnier had with another obscure Alabama rapper, known as Johnny Cashville, who a week earlier donned a Batman mask, took to YouTube and taunted Garnier with a series of choppy, half-baked rhymes, seemingly mocking the former addict's mission to end opiate abuse. Another man, masked as Robin — the Caped Crusader's comic book sidekick — hovered in the background, hurling insults such as "junkie" and "corn dog" at Garnier. The upload appears to be a direct response to one of Garnier's earlier live streams where the Missouri man again masqueraded as the Joker to vent on the evils of drug addiction.
The 48-year-old’s next court appearance is set for March 12, according to court documents. His criminal defense attorney, Joe Hogan, wasn’t immediately available for comment on Thursday.
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