Tampa man jailed on charge of wearing illegal mask

From TampaBay.com:

Matthew David Lopez was arrested after deputies say they saw him walking down the road wearing a clown mask.
[Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
Matthew David Lopez was arrested after deputies say they saw him walking down the road wearing a clown mask.

TAMPA — An 18-year-old Tampa man was jailed Tuesday afternoon, charged with wearing a clown mask on a public road.

Deputies say Matthew David Lopez, of 7003 Ponderosa Drive, was seen with two other people walking south on N 58th Street, just north of E Fowler Avenue. What caught a deputy’s attention was Lopez’s masked face with a bright red-and-orange wig, according to an arrest affidavit.

The deputy followed the group in an unmarked car as the group walked west through a slightly wooded path behind several business offices.

A marked Temple Terrace police cruiser showed up soon after, and the group ran away before deputies could question them.

They were found near N 58th Street and E 122nd Avenue.

Lopez was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of wearing a mask or hood on a public road after the age of 16 and resisting arrest without violence.

He was released on $750 bail.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said any disguise in public is illegal. Even on Halloween, adults aren’t allowed to enter any businesses or stores with their faces covered.

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