Man Thinks He's Punisher; Threatens To Kill Jason David Frank & Police
Yesterday saw a fan dress as the Punisher and threaten Jason David Frank and the police at the Phoenix Comic-Con while wearing body armor and carrying real loaded weapons.
The AP and local Phoenix, Arizona news outlets report 31-year-old Mesa resident Mathew Sterling told the police that he is the real life Punisher and would kill them in order to protect himself and his friends.
The Phoenix New Times also reports Mathew Sterling had some kind of perceived beef with Jason David Frank, known for playing the Green Power Ranger, and wanted to kill the actor as well.
Mathew Sterling was arrested by police at the Phoenix Comic-Con, said to be in possession of three handguns, a shotgun, a combat knife, pepper spray, and throwing stars.
It's reported upon entering the convention, Mathew Sterling managed to avoid security and also avoid the section where cosplay props are checked over. Sterling then proceeded to the second floor.
Police were notified of the gunman by a female acquaintance of Sterling's who was in contact with the gunman via text message and on social media. She alerted police when Mathew Sterling told her of his intentions of having a showdown with the police inside the convention. Sterling had also posted photos of police officers at at the convention on Facebook.
Regarding Jason David Frank, later in court it became known that Sterling planned on attacking and killing the actor, with his phone having a reminder set for Thursday to "Kill JDF." It's reported Sterling said he stabbed Jason David Frank 15 years earlier and planned on finishing the job at the convention.
Police were able to subdue Mathew Sterling at the convention while Sterling was looking over the Phoenix Comic-Con schedule where a brief physical altercation ensued with numerous police officers able to take down Sterling before he could use any of the weapons.
Matthew Sterling was charged with multiple counts, including attempted murder, resisting arrest, aggravated assault, carrying a weapon in a prohibited place, and wearing body armor during the commission of a felony, with the judge ordering Sterling held on $1 million bail.
Jason David Frank released the following statement on Instagram:
The Phoenix Comic-Con also released the following statement via Facebook:
Convention Director Matthew Solberg here with an important and urgent message: In light of recent events, Phoenix...Posted by Phoenix Comicon on Thursday, May 25, 2017
Video of Mathew Sterling's initial court appearance:
Mathew Sterling mug shot