The Tears of a Clown Arrested for Meth in Waffle House
Jacob Worthington cheered people up with tricks, but he’s far from a bozo—he’s an Afghanistan veteran who fell on hard times after his cooking career.
An Army veteran with a promising career as a chef was busted for drugs while dressed as a clown, The Daily Beast has learned.
It was the wee hours of Tuesday—far too late for any kid’s birthday party—and the circus wasn’t in town. So when a man wearing a clown suit walked into a Waffle House in downtown Athens, Georgia, it wasn’t as if he was the evening’s hired entertainment. No, Jacob Worthington, in full funnyman regalia, landed on a stool at the front of the counter and started allegedly puffing a bowl full of meth, turning the greasy spoon into his personal drug den.
The potluck disco party for one sparked fear in the skeleton staff working on the late shift where there was nary a customer, save for the clown allegedly getting his fix.
“It was slow that night,” one Waffle House worker who wished to remain anonymous told The Daily Beast. “He was fully dressed as a clown. I couldn’t believe it. But you see some weird stuff in downtown Athens.”
One of servers called 911 around 4:15 a.m. and reported to Athens police that Worthington was endangering himself and everybody at the eatery.
The red-headed 25-year-old was described in a police report as “wearing a clown suit” and leaving “a bowl where he had smoked meth on the counter” before “locking himself in the bathroom.”
Cops gained entry to the bathroom and allegedly discovered Worthington standing near the sink having switched to marijuana. The police report suggests Worthington was found with “a smoking pipe with residue inside it.”
When they patted down Worthington he copped to having “a knife in his pants pocket,” according to the police report.
The responding officers then moved Worthington back to his stool at the counter where he allegedly confessed that the book bag on the floor filled with LSD wrapped in foil and rolling papers—along with “a digital scale and a jar of marijuana, a jar of mushrooms, a small golden keepsake containing marijuana and a small bag of white powder”—all belonged to him, according to the report.
The cops deduced who Worthington was by observing a deck of cards he carried, one of which bore his identification.
When he’s not playing a drug-addled joker, Worthington is jotting deep thoughts in little poems.
In one Facebook post, Worthington spoke of some of his demons.
“The frown of a clown brings down everyone around yet between me and you the most happy clowns are blue this is true for the best thing to do is to avoid them all together.”
The bozo’s bender seems to run against Worthington’s “good guy” persona.
Three months ago Worthington had decided to quit his chef gig at Luigi’s pizzeria based in Buford, Georgia. He went to Athens to chase love.
“He got serious with a girl and wanted to go where she lived,” Jacob James, his culinary apprentice, told us.
Before he hung up the apron, Worthington had managed to teach James, 22, many of his tricks. “He was a really good cook and he’s the one that taught me and now I run the kitchen,” James said.
It wasn’t unusual for Worthington “when things were slow” to go outside and to start clowning around. “I know that when he did work for us he would go outside and juggle and it would attract customers.”
Worthington had juggled since he was 14 (and hitchhiked thereafter before landing in Georgia) and he could do more than toss around balls.
“He could juggle anything,” James remembered fondly. “Even stuff with different weights. Like he could juggle a basketball and a paper clip if he had to.”
When he left the restaurant, it was a big loss. “He was awesome to be around, he was a really good guy, but he had to move.”
It wasn’t that long ago, back in 2009, that Worthington had worn the uniform and while on home-leave from a deployment in Afghanistan had even been spotlighted filling goodie bags filled with toiletries, snacks, books, and DVDs to fellow soldiers from Fort Gilliam’s 310 Psychological Operations Company.
According to his Facebook page, Worthington says he had left the Army back in January 2014.
He’s been jumping from job to job, location to location, ever since.
Waffle House may have been Worthington’s destination to feel comfortable enough to get high and relax. After all, he wrote a post about another Waffle House incident that occurred two days before Christmas 2014.
“Last night I lost an envelope filled with all my money, a few hundred dollars. I couldn’t find it anywhere. Last time I had it was at Waffle House exhausting all other alternatives i went to Waffle House. One of the servers had found it and kept it safe for me. She is and angel, a god among men. There is greatness hiding in this world.”
There were plenty more sunny moments sandwiched between the bleak ones. Once, Worthington gets existential about a favorite electronic artist and wrote:
“The sun shines to light your path and the moonlight covers your heart like a blanket of warmth and protection. Never let this life get you down. Smile because somewhere someone loves you.”
A day before Halloween, he described fending off a gaggle of would-be robbers aiming a pink-handled pistol. In the post he just wrote: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh,” inspiring others to chime in and Worthington responded with peppy turns of phrase in what appears to be a bleak situation.
“Some bitches just tried to rob me at gunpoint…Yeah fucked them up and they ran away empty handed they had a 22 with a pink handle lol probably their sisters gun hahaha.”
He went on to say he’s usually a peacemaker, not a pugilist.
“Yep and I’m so peaceful it’s ironic I usually never resort to violence even if someone hits me it’s not the first time but when they ripped my vest and ruined my Halloween costume I snapped.”
Worthington remains behind bars in lieu of $8,500 bail after being hit with multiple drug charges with the intent to sell. His mother, Leslie, refused to talk about her son’s recent run-in with the law.
“I don’t think I’m in a situation to talk about it and I think it’s best that this family not say anything at this time,” she said.