Vernal police say suspect wearing Joker face paint threatened to stab man to death

Photo: Vernal Police Department

VERNAL, Utah, March 29, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A Vernal man is being held in the Uintah County Jail after police say he stole a pocketknife and face paint, painted his face to look like the Joker and then threatened to stab a man to death.

Police say Jonathan Tyler Clark, 24, began his crime spree Monday evening at Walmart, 1851 W. U.S. 40, where he stole face paint and a pocketknife, according to a probable cause statement filed in Vernal City Justice Court. Walmart surveillance video shows Clark stealing the knife, which cost $4.87, police said.

“It was reported to officers that the suspect had face paint resembling the Joker from the Batman movies,” Vernal police stated Tuesday on the department’s Facebook page.

Clark then attempted to break into an apartment near 1300 W. Main, saying he was looking for a man who lived there, according to Vernal police. Clark first tried to break into the apartment through the windows but was unsuccessful, police said.

“After Jonathan was not able to get into the windows, he waited on the front porch,” according to the probable cause statement. “Eventually someone arrived with a flashlight and told Jonathan to leave.”

Police say Clark was in possession of a 7-inch folding pocketknife when they later located him near 200 North and 1100 West, according to the probable cause statement. He was wearing “white face paint, green face paint near the top of his face and in his hair, and red face paint in the form of a smile, similar to the Joker,” police said.

“Further investigation by officers found that Jonathan knew the individuals whose home he attempted to break into,” police said in the Facebook post. “Jonathan told officers he had planned to kill one of the residents of the home due to a prior argument. Jonathan said he had planned to stab the individual to death with the stolen knife and would kill anyone that got in his way.”

Police also noted that Clark “was slurring his speech and swaying” while being interviewed and later told police he had used methamphetamine and cough medicine, according to the probable cause statement.

Police say Monday’s incident stemmed from a previous confrontation between Clark and the victim. Clark told police the victim called him a “pedophile” one day earlier, “and this made Jonathan mad (and) vengeful,” according to the probable cause statement.

“At this point, Jonathan came up with a plan to kill the victim,” police said.

Clark is being held in the Uintah County Jail for investigation of attempted murder, unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, intoxication and criminal trespass. He also faces potential retail theft charges for stealing the knife and face paint.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here