Creepy clowns have been terrorizing America in recent months, and the hysteria seems to only be getting worse.

It’s gotten so out of hand that authorities with several agencies tell KHOU 11 News they’re worried violence could escalate in the weeks ahead.

Those law enforcement agencies said they want to get ahead of it before it’s too late.

Retired Harris County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Gary Rodgers believes it’s only a matter of time before someone is hurt or even killed.

“When you walk up on someone you don’t know in a public place or a yard as they’re getting out of their vehicle, the outcome could be tragic,” Gary Rodgers explained. “These things can get out of hand in a millisecond, and whenever that happens, there’s no going back.”

Rodgers, who had been with Harris County for 30 years, said even he doesn’t know what he’d do if someone in a creepy clown costume ran up on him.

“There’s different kinds of clown costumes out there. There’s the happy face ones that kids laugh at. These that we’re seeing on TV and in incidents, these are not happy face clowns. These are very scary,” Rodgers said.

He believes many kids and young adults who want to scare people or get attention are not fully understanding how fearful and threatened people are feeling right now.

Texas law could protect those who act out in what they feel is an act of self-defense because of the growing fear that is linked to the creepy clown costume.