A lot of people like dressing up as the popular comic book characters the Joker and Harley Quinn, but what happens when the people in costume take on a bit too much of their character's persona? That's exactly what happened at one Australian cosplay party in 2017. Dale Ewins and Zita Sukys went to the Saints and Sinners Ball at Inflation nightclub in Melbourne, Australia, to have a little Harley Quinn and the Joker cosplay fun. They were looking for a thrilling night, but what they got was one of the worst cosplay transgressions ever.
Ewins was looking to bring realism to his portrayal of the Joker and brought along a toy gun, but it proved to be a grave mistake. This cosplay gone wrong ended when 10 police officers suddenly surrounded them and shot each several times. The man dressed as the Joker was seriously wounded and had to have surgery that night. The case took Australia by storm with several controversial details emerging about the activities of the couple prior as well as what was going on with police before, after, and during the incident.
Things Started Out Innocently Enough
Dale Ewins and Zita Sukys went to the "Saints and Sinners Ball" at the Inflation nightclub in Melbourne, Australia looking to have a little adult fun. It was an erotic party for open couples combined with a costume party. The then 35 and 37-year-old couple dressed as the Joker and Harley Quinn for the party, with Ewins trying to really look the part complete with a toy gun.
Security let him in the club with the toy, but someone called the police - and that's when things turned bad.
The Joker Pointed His Toy At Staff
While Ewins says he did nothing wrong to cause the police to strike him several times, he may have crossed the line before the police were called. In the hours before the incident, Ewins pointed his prop at the bar staff at the Inflation nightclub. While this may justify the police being called, it doesn't explain why they didn't believe the club's staff who told them it was fake.
Police also targeted Ewins's partner, even though Sukys did not have any real (or fake) armament.
Cops Sent In The SWAT Team
Apparently, the police in Melbourne do not mess around when it comes to responding to calls involving the Joker. Not only did the police there show up, but they brought the Critical Incident Response Team, a kind of Australian version of SWAT officers. In fact, 10 of the heavily armored team members reportedly stormed the club to respond to the call.
Within 32 seconds of their order to disarm, they had opened fire on the couple.
Witnesses Reported Seeing A Gun
Police didn't just show up to the Inflation nightclub for no reason, they were called there by someone who said they saw the man dressed as the Joker with a firearm. More than one person told officers that Ewins was taking his Joker act a little seriously. Multiple people - including a bartender - said it was fake.
Nightclub workers said they informed the police that it was just a prop and that they would take it from him to avoid a volatile situation. Their offer was rejected.