Florida

Dressing as a clown for Halloween? These Florida cops say you’re risking your life

Bill Skarsgard plays Pennywise, the creepy clown in the movie, “It.” Some sheriff departments are warning people not to pull clown pranks on Halloween lest the pranksters come under attack.
Bill Skarsgard plays Pennywise, the creepy clown in the movie, “It.” Some sheriff departments are warning people not to pull clown pranks on Halloween lest the pranksters come under attack. TNS

As Halloween nears, many are considering clown pranks for fright night fun.

At least one sheriff’s office in the state says don’t even think of playing a creepy clown if your aim is mischief.

Volusia County Sheriff’s Office issued a stern warning on its Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

“Warning to evil clowns and anyone considering creepy clown activity: We will not be there to save you if your intended target defends himself or herself, and you may face other penalties as well,” the post read.

The warning was issued after an 11-year-old boy told deputies Monday that he was nearly attacked in DeLand by a man dressed as a clown, WESH 2 reported. The boy told deputy Justin Lococo he was riding his bicycle and as he approached Pine Ridge High School, a clown jumped from behind a light pole and bushes and tried to grab him.

The boy used his metal selfie stick to whack the clown multiple times, he said. The clown was described as about 5-foot, 9-inches and 230 pounds, wearing blue hair and a rainbow painted face.

The clown, the boy said, chased him then tripped and scurried back into the bushes and out of sight.

“The victim did not observe the clown with any weapons. He advised he rode his bicycle to school and notified a school crossing guard and various teachers,” the sheriff department’s post on Facebook read.

Deputy Lococo drove the route and did not observe any clowns, according to the post.

The new warning follows Miami police and the Broward Sheriff’s Office who warned last Halloween against dressing as creepy clowns in a series of videos posted to social media sites. “We would advise the community to avoid dressing as a clown this Halloween,” BSO said after a series of confrontations, threats and hoaxes.

Even friendly Ronald McDonald was put on a sabbatical as professional clowns, event organizers, and the World Clown Association bemoaned the tarnished image of clowns, which have been circus fixtures for generations.

You can bet clown costumes are even hotter this season in the wake of the film adaptation of author Stephen King’s “It.” The horror movie centers on a sinister clown named Pennywise who serves as the embodiment of evil to a group of children. “It” is the highest grossing R-rated horror movie of all time in North America with a domestic take of $315 million in six weeks.

Last month, an arrest was finally made 27 years after a man dressed as a clown shot a woman to death on Memorial Day weekend in the Palm Beach County suburb of Wellington.

Howard Cohen: 305-376-3619, @HowardCohen

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