Felony Vandalism Charges Possible in Obama Joker Poster Case

A Florida teenager could face felony vandalism charges for allegedly gluing posters depicting President Obama as the Joker onto public property, FOXNews.com has learned.

Clermont, Fla., Police Capt. Eric Jensen said the state attorney will review evidence to determine whether to charge the unidentified teenager with gluing "dozens" of the posters last week to the city's light poles, public and private buildings, bridge overpasses, road signs and a mailbox.

Jensen said damage to city property exceeded $800, and it cost roughly $200 to remove the adhesive that was used to affix the poster to the mailbox.

"If he hadn't glued them, we wouldn't be having this discussion," Jensen told FOXNews.com. "[The adhesive] didn't come off the road signs."

If convicted of felony vandalism, the teenager could face a maximum of five years in jail. No arrests have been made yet in the case.

Bill Gladson, of Florida's Fifth Judicial Circuit, which oversees Lake County, confirmed that State Attorney Brad King will receive the case as early as Wednesday.

"We look at every case that gets dropped off," he said, declining further comment until the case file is received.

Gladson said he could not recall a recent case involving potential charges of felony vandalism in regard to posters, including those pertaining to political messages.

Jensen said witnesses initially told investigators that a "couple of kids" were responsible for gluing the posters. He said the teenage suspect admitted to affixing dozens of the "hundreds" of posters throughout Clermont, a suburb of Orlando.

Dozens of the posters first appeared earlier this month throughout Los Angeles. They portray Obama as Batman's nemesis from "The Dark Knight," with the word socialism printed above and below the president's face. Obama is portrayed wearing sloppy red lipstick, a white face and darkened eyes, the same make-up that the late actor Heath Ledger wore throughout the latest Batman movie.

U.S. Postal Inspector Ed Moffitt said Clermont Postmaster Willie Montgomery contacted his office to investigate the case following the discovery of the posters on Aug. 11. Defacing federal property, including a mailbox, is a violation of Title 18 of U.S. Code, Moffitt said, but federal authorities decided the case "does not meet their guidelines," since the damage did not exceed $1,000.

Moffitt said Montgomery scraped off the "very, very adhesive" substance used to hang the posters with a pen knife or putty knife, which removed the mailbox's blue paint. The mailbox then had to be primed and repainted, adding to labor costs, which totaled roughly $200.

"It wasn't like a Post-It note where you could easily pull it off," Moffitt said. "Nothing's free anymore."

But it could have been a lot closer to free. An employee at Home Depot suggested a $6 bottle of Goo Gone would have done the trick.

"It does take a little rubbing," the employee said.

No motive for the poster display has been determined, but Jensen noted that a contest posted on Infowars.com 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 told FOXNews.com last week. "It was a nationwide event from what I understand."

Maria Kayanan, associate legal director of Florida's American Civil Liberties Union chapter, said the case does not appear to be a First Amendment issue, citing the property damage.

"If it was just a poster that didn't cause any destruction, that'd be an entirely different thing," she told FOXNews.com.