As fake clowns cause fear and panic in France, police now have been placed on high alert as reported by the Guardian. The local newspaper, Daupiné Liberé, wrote, “These clowns aren’t funny anymore.” There is no humor in acts of violence. The evil clowns are committing crimes causing an increase in vigilante responses. This makes for a bad combination.
MSN reports that on Saturday “fourteen teenagers dressed as clowns and carrying pistols, knives and baseball bats were arrested outside a school in Agde, southern France.” Numerous other complaints flooded the authorities with reports of armed clowns throughout the weekend.
That very same night in Montpellier, a man dressed as a clown tried to rob a 35-year-old pedestrian, and along with two other accomplices, the three fake clowns beat the man with a metal rod. All three clowns were caught and arrested within 24 hours. At least three other motorists, all in different towns, reported they had been threatened by clowns, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Last week, a 19-year-old dressed up as a clown to terrorize children in Douvrin, northern France. This clown went to court and was given a six-month suspended prison sentence. These kinds of incidents appear to be far from over.
The New Zealand Herald reveals a statement made by the national police this week.
“Since mid-October, a rumor inspired by videos published on the internet, is worrying the population about the presence of threatening and aggressive clowns in France.”
There is much speculation as to how and why these clown attacks are happening. One such possibility is a video that was launched as a “challenge” via YouTube, which quickly spread to social networks. This video shows a horrifying clown pranking people, raking in over 30 million views.
These random clown attacks could also stem from TV shows, such as the recent “Twisty” the killer clown featured on the American Horror Story.
What makes matters even worse is the fact that vigilantes are now starting to hit the streets in order to stop the freakish clowns themselves. MSN reports that police “stopped a dozen youths, who were carrying sticks and metal rods and said they were hunting clowns. One was a 12-year-old boy armed with a dagger.”
MSN continues to report that five teenagers heard that a clown was stalking their town of Mulhouse, proceeded to arm themselves with various weapons such as baseball bats, a teargas canister, hammers and a truncheon. They were all arrested, and later, released.
The National Police believe “symptomatic of the impact of the internet, this phenomenon can lead to damaging individual acts and disturbances to public order” as reported by the New Zealand Herald.
Professional clowns are outraged by the dangerous epidemic of the fake clowns. Phillipe Herreman directs a team of eight clowns in northern France called the Clowns of Hope. His association works to do good things in the community. They visit hospitals and care homes and try to bring a smile to those who need it.
Herreman has a strong opinion of the violent clowns and hopes they soon disappear as reported by MSN.
“The best thing that could happen is that people stop talking about them.”
This is no laughing matter as police try to keep the community calm. But it’s hard to forget as Halloween approaches this week, some clowns have made history in a not so good way — Stephen King’s terrifying novel It, which was about the evil clown, Pennywise, and in real life, the notorious American serial killer clown John Wayne Gacy, who tormented, raped, tortured and killed at least 33 boys and young men before he was executed in 1994.
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