Fake News: Local Man NOT Arrested After Cosplaying Mr. Freeze And Yelling Cold Weather Puns At People in Sioux Falls

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Local Man NOT Arrested After Cosplaying Mr. Freeze And Yelling Cold Weather Puns At People in Sioux Falls

Was a man from Sioux Falls in South Dakota arrested for dressing up like the character Mr. Freeze from the Batman comics and yelling cold weather puns at people in a Walmart parking lot? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a satirical website for entertainment purposes. It did not happen for real even though it went massively viral, racking up almost 170,000 engagements on Facebook at the time of writing.

The story originated from an article published by The Sioux Falls Headliner on January 30, 2019 titled "Local Man Arrested After Cosplaying Mr. Freeze And Yelling Cold Weather Puns At People" (archived here) which opened:

A local man was arrested early Wednesday morning at Walmart after walking around the parking lot yelling cold weather puns at shoppers.

"He told me he was going to change the 'STOP' sign to say 'FREEZE'. He was dressed up in some clear plastic that looked hand painted baby blue to
really get the whole ice look down. He was also trying to talk like Arnold did in the Batman movie. I thought it was pretty funny," said one shopper we spoke with.

Not everyone thought the man's puns were funny, though.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so they would not have noticed the header of the site:

Local Man Arrested After Cosplaying Mr. Freeze And Yelling Cold Weather Puns At People

A local man was arrested early Wednesday morning at Walmart after walking around the parking lot yelling cold weather puns at shoppers. "He told me he was going to change the 'STOP' sign to say 'FR...

People who did click through were greeted with the message "Your #1 source for satirical Sioux Falls news!" at the top of the page.

The site is run by Adam K. White according to the site's about page:

Signing my full name at the bottom of every post isn't good enough for you?

You still came looking for more? Kind of nosy, don't you think?

The Sioux Falls Headliner was launched on December 8th, 2017 by blogger and writer Adam K. White.

Well Mr. White, that's a cool story you had there and you caught a lot of people out cold by snowing them under with your satire! Well done.

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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