Carlow University student who wore 'Joker' face paint may get charges withdrawn


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OBJECTA Carlow University student arrested after a confrontation with campus police after he painted his face to look like the Joker has reached a tentative agreement to have most of his charges withdrawn.

Christian Smith, 21, of Lincoln-Lemington, appeared briefly in Pittsburgh Municipal Court this afternoon.

Mr. Smith attracted the attention of campus police earlier this month after he appeared on campus with his face painted to look like the Batman villain the Joker and some people called police because they were alarmed.

Mr. Smith's attorney, Philip DiLucente, initially said Mr. Smith wore the face paint in part because he felt he was being racially targeted based on the number of times officials asked for his ID and also because he was going to a comic book convention later that day.

Campus police said he acted disorderly, spit on an officer, threatened them and resisted their efforts to arrest him.

Prosecutors today said they agreed to postpone a preliminary hearing for Mr. Smith until Nov. 25 so he may complete several requirements that would allow him to have his charges withdrawn, except for a summary offense of disorderly conduct.

To fulfill that agreement, Mr. Smith must meet with a behavioral specialist and receive any treatment recommended and avoid contact with Carlow University. A representative for the school also said in court today that Mr. Smith will withdraw from the school, has agreed not to attempt to re-enroll and to release the university from any claims he may wish to file.

Mr. Smith currently faces charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.

Mr. DiLucente said they were pleased with the agreement, which was reached after "extensive negotiation."

He compared his client and Carlow University to a dysfunctional couple who might "still love your partner in some respects" but might not be able to function well together.

"My client and the university had irreconcilable differences," he said.


Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.

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