An Ohio father got the bright idea to nip his 6-year-old daughter's behavioral issues in the bud by donning a clown mask to scare her — and then chasing her from their apartment and down a street, police told WKBN-TV.
Boardman police got a call Saturday from a woman who said a masked man was chasing a screaming child and that the tyke not only ran in front of her car — but also jumped into the vehicle, police told the station.
Soon the kid was hightailing it into a nearby unlocked apartment and begging the family inside if she could take refuge there from the clown that was chasing her, WKBN noted, citing the police report.
Enter Dion Santiago — a member of the family in that apartment.
Santiago told cops he looked out a window, saw a guy wearing a clown mask standing outside the building — and then fired two shots to scare off the interloper, the station reported. The shots were aimed toward the next-door building's yard, WKBN added, and the clown-mask guy wasn't hit.
It gets stranger
After police brought the little girl outside and pointed out Vernon Barrett Jr. — her dad — she still retreated back into the apartment and hid in a back bedroom, the station said.
Then Santiago and Barrett began screaming at each other, with Barrett Jr. yelling at Santiago, “I’ll catch you next week,” WKBN said, citing the report.
Apparently, Santiago had seen news coverage about people dressed as clowns and chasing people, and he told police seeing a man wearing a clown mask outside his apartment got him nervous.
It may or may not surprise you that Santiago had a few beers before the incident, the station said, citing the police report, which also noted that Santiago was charged with using weapons while intoxicated.
Barrett Jr. told police he didn’t know Santiago or his family, WKBN said. And according to WYTV-TV, Barrett Jr. told cops his daughter's mother is in jail for child endangerment after breaking four of her daughter's ribs — which led Barrett Jr. to scare her as a form a discipline rather than spanking her.
Barrett Jr. was charged with child endangerment and inducing panic, WKBN reported, adding that he and Santiago are expected in court Tuesday morning.