Police in Florida have questioned a teenager who admitted to hanging dozens of posters depicting President Obama as the Joker, and suggested that the prank could be part of a nationwide contest launched by a conservative talk show host to brandish the posters everywhere.
Clermont Police Capt. Eric Jensen said the suspect who was taken into custody but not charged, told investigators he affixed some of the posters recently found on the city's light poles, public and private buildings, overpasses, mailboxes and other locations.
"We're still trying to gather more suspects and ascertain more witnesses," Jensen told FOXNews.com. "We haven't made any arrests yet."
Jensen said witnesses told investigators a "couple of kids" were also responsible for affixing the posters along with the unidentified teenager. Charges of vandalism could be considered, he said. The severity of the charges will be depend on damages to property, which have not be tallied yet.
Dozens of the posters first appeared earlier this month throughout Los Angeles, portraying Obama as Batman's nemesis from "The Dark Knight," with the word socialism printed above and below the commander in chief's face. The posters depicted Obama with sloppy red lipstick, a white face and darkened eyes, the same make-up that late actor Heath Ledger wore throughout the latest Batman movie.
Jensen estimated 500 posters reportedly were strewn across the city of Claremont, but that figure was difficult to verify since an untold number of them had been removed as of Friday.
"We don't really have a count because people who were offended started tearing them down," he said. "But we know there's more than one suspect."
Jensen said investigators are attempting to gather enough evidence to present the case to the state attorney's office for review.
No motive has been formally determined, but Jensen noted a contest posted on Infowars.com that called on people to download a version of the poster to be hung in "public spaces" in their neighborhood.
"We're the only ones who have seemed to have gotten it, though," Jensen said, referring to participation in the contest. "It was a nationwide event from what I understand."
As of late Friday, at least 406 comments were posted on a Web site featuring the contest sponsored by Alex Jones, who hosts a syndicated talk show on the Genesis Communication Network. Details of the contest launched late last week show a top prize of a $1,000 for the person who can demonstrate the best application of the posters around his or her hometown.
"Please do not post on federal or private property as this will be considered vandalism and will be counterproductive and diminish the message of the Obama Joker poster," the blog post announcing the contest reads.
"In order to awaken the people about Obama's agenda, Alex is organizing a contest centered around the "Obama as Joker" poster that has Democrats and Obamanoids going ballistic."
Jones urged participants to post a video of their "poster offensive" on YouTube and the site includes a download of the poster for people to copy and use. The contest was slated to end Friday. Other prizes offered were cash winnings of $500, $200 and an original Alex Jones "Obama as Hitler" artwork.
Attempts to reach Jones late Friday were unsuccessful.
Critics of the posters suggested a racist motivation behind the pictures of Obama in white face. But an article on the Infowars site by Kurt Nimmo says nothing racist is meant by the poster.
"The white face -- and clowns usually hide their faces under white makeup (it is called "clown white) -- has nothing to do with an attempt to portray Obama as a white person. It's about Obama as the Joker, and not necessarily the Joker played by the late Heath Ledger," Nimmo wrote.
"Bob Kane's original comic book Joker is a master criminal and a bizarre psychopath. Obama is not necessarily a psychopath -- that is to say a ruthless hands-on serial killer -- but by the standard of his office he is a master criminal, or rather a front man for a cartel of master criminals," he wrote.