A 6-year-old girl’s father was arrested after chasing his daughter with a clown mask.
The girl’s father told police in Boardman, Ohio, that he chased her and scared her with the clown mask as an alternative form of discipline, so he could avoid spanking her, WKBN 27 reported.
The man said the girl’s mother broke four of her ribs while disciplining her previously, and is currently in jail on child endangerment charges. The man claimed he was trying to avoid doing something physically harmful like the mother.
While the girl was screaming and running away from the horrible sight of her father stalking her in the mask, she ran into a car belonging to someone she didn’t know and then ran into an apartment building she didn’t live in.
A man who heard the commotion exited his home and fired a shot into the ground. Earlier media reports falsely indicated he took aim at the father.
The girl’s father was charged with child endangering and inducing panic. The man who fired the shot was charged with using weapons while intoxicated.
“People need to start being forced to have a parenting license before they are allowed to leave the hospital with their children,” said a commenter on Vindy.com, in reference to the incident.
The recent trend of scaring people by dressing as scary clowns goes back to August last year. CBS News gave a wrap up on scary clown incidents. Some of them are more serious, and some less serious, but they drained the resources and attention of law enforcement during their high tide. People wearing clown masks were attempting to spook school children and communities. In some instances arrests were made. In others they were just harmless pranks for internet photo and video stardom.
The trend likens itself to the movie “It,” currently causing a commotion in the clown community. The once playful, goofy characters that frequented children’s birthday parties and circuses are seeing a decline in work, Business Insider reported. They can’t get people to hire them when people are scared of them due to a changing perception. They protested outside of a large movie theater in New York City because of the way the horrific killer clown in “It” is making children afraid of professional clowns and the work they do.
The first appearance of the killer clown from “It” was in a 1990 TV miniseries by the same name. The impact of that and smaller portrayals of scary clowns has led to a steady shift in the perception of clowns, and therefore the shrinking in the family-friendly job opportunities they used to dominate.