Teenagers dressed as scary clowns — some wielding weapons such as machetes or baseball bats — have been terrorizing the people of Bakersfield, California, for the past few days, and the Bakersfield police are not amused.
The Halloween season often brings out the prankster in people — teenagers in particular — and often those pranks descend into crimes such as vandalism (egging houses, for example). But the teenagers who have been dressed as clowns and harassing passerby, according to the Los Angeles Times, have taken things way too far.
As of this post, the Bakersfield Police Department say they have received at least 16 calls of people — presumably teenagers — dressed as clowns, some of whom have been holding weapons. At least one arrest has been made; an unnamed juvenile has been charged with annoying a minor after he chased a group of teens — although without a weapon — leaving at least one of them “visibly shaken.”
Bakersfield Police Sgt. Joseph Grubbs said that his department is concerned that the menacing clowns’ behavior may turn into something more serious than just harassment.
“We will make arrests on this. We want this to stop.”
According to the Bakersfield Californian, the Bakersfield clowns are imitating what is known as the Wasco Clown. The Wasco Clown, according to this Inquisitr report, is an art project posted on Instagram by a husband and wife, who photograph themselves looking scary in places around Wasco, California. And the Wasco Clown himself/herself are likely inspired by a similar creepy clown photography project that took place last year around Northampton, England.
The difference between the Wasco Clown and the Bakersfield clowns, however, is that the Wasco Clown doesn’t deliberately terrorize innocent passersby.
Kern County Sheriff’s spokesman Ray Pruitt said that he believes the Bakersfield clowns are trying to take the Wasco Clown to a new level.
“They’re most likely pranks or a hoax related to the case out in Wasco.”
At least one person has suffered minor clown-related injuries, according to the Californian. Last Wednesday night, a person was assaulted by a group of teens who thought she had something to do with the clown incidents; the teens attacked her and then drove away.
As for the Wasco Clown, he told the Bakersfield Californian that it was never his intention to inspire others to engage in criminal behavior.
Do you believe the Bakersfield clowns should be punished for their behavior, or are the teens just engaged in harmless Halloween season pranking?
[Image courtesy of: Creepy Collection]