A Baltimore man with the online persona "Plainpotatoess" has been charged with more than 20 counts of harassment and trespassing stemming from incidents that allegedly occurred while he was filming videos to post on social media, according to police and city officials.
Marquel A. Carter, 20, of the 2400 block of E. Madison St. was charged Thursday with five counts of harassment and 16 counts of trespassing, according to court records. Carter has not been arrested, but criminal summonses have been issued, according to Baltimore police.
On Twitter and Instagram, Carter has generated hundreds of thousands of followers. The accounts frequently share videos of Carter approaching people on the street or in businesses and making fun of their appearances and responses. At least one video ends with him being thrown to the ground by a person he was ridiculing.
Since the videos started appearing on the internet, some Baltimore residents have taken to social media to condemn “Plainpotatoess” as an internet troll.
Most of the videos appear to be filmed in businesses and other locations around Mount Vernon and other neighborhoods in Baltimore. On Twitter, many of the videos receive thousands of favorites and retweets each.
Carter did not have an attorney listed as representing him in court documents. In an interview Friday, he said that having clout on the internet is a powerful drug.
“I remember growing up watching prank videos, and the funniest ones were the ones where people get all bent out of shape,” Carter said. “I said, ‘What if there’s content of people getting bent out of shape and getting upset?’ That was my goal — just to get reactions out of people.”
After learning of the charges this week, Carter said, he grappled to process the fallout from his videos. Carter said he felt people were too sensitive and couldn’t take a joke — yet he was alarmed to hear how deeply bothered some Baltimore residents were.
“I know y’all really hate me and whatever I say probably isn’t going to change a darn thing, but I didn’t mean to hurt anyone or traumatize anyone,” he said. “I was very oblivious to what I was doing and was very cocky.”
Court records show Carter has two petitions for peace orders filed against him, one of which was granted for the owner of Baby’s On Fire cafe in Mount Vernon. The complaint states that Carter came into the cafe Oct. 19 and harassed customers while recording them on his phone.
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City Councilman Eric Costello, who represents Mount Vernon, received a dozen complaints in the fall about Carter, leading him to reach out to police, he said in a social media post Thursday.
Costello said he and his staff combed through more than three hours of footage posted to the “Plainpotatoess” accounts in hopes of helping police identify the locations where Carter allegedly filmed.
“Enough was enough,” Costello said Friday. “It’s not just that he’s making jokes. He’s making jokes about race, gender, religion. We noticed in a lot of these videos he was being asked to leave and wasn’t doing it.”
Costello referred to the behavior in the videos as “disgusting” and said there was no place for it in Baltimore.
Carter said he regretted some of the decisions he made as “Plainpotatoess” and that there’s no one to blame but himself.
“Nobody thinks I’m acting as a character,” he said. “’Plainpotatoes’ won’t get charged with 21 charges, but I will.”
Police ask anyone with information to contact Detective Gregorio so he may continue to build the investigation. He may be reached at: John.Gregorio@BaltimorePolice.org or 410-396-2499.