OAK RIDGE NORTH, Texas - A devilish clown claims he was just trying to “scare up” business when Oak Ridge North Police busted him for scaring people in the parking lot.
One mother’s encounter is going viral, but the clown says it’s all a misunderstanding.
“I saw this guy in a costume and mask pacing up and down,” said mother Crystal Jones.
Jones and her son, Grayson, say they encountered a creepy clown at the other end of a Woodlands-area strip center from a Halloween Express temporary store. She snapped a picture when the clown came up to their car with a fake meat cleaver covered in blood.
“He walked to my car and kept getting closer,” Jones said.
“He came up and tried to open the door,” Grayson said.
Oak Ridge North Police responded when a shop owner called them following Jones’s complaint. An officer later cited the clown for disorderly conduct.
“He probably had good intentions, what he was doing,” said ORNPD Lt. Tom Libby. “But a lot of times good intentions turn into bad decisions.”
Jones’s story has scared up similar encounters on social media. Another mom even shared cell phone video she shot of the clown, although he is clearly standing right in front of the store in that video.
“If there’s ever an indication that parents don’t want their kids scared or something, the mask comes off,” said Allen Henry, who was the man wearing the clown mask. “I leave them alone, that type of thing.”
Henry manages the Halloween Express store and believes police overreacted to what was clearly not a crime in his opinion.
“I don’t think I should have been cited for it, because I wasn’t trying to incite fear in anybody,” Henry said.
He planned to leave the tricks to some of the stuff he sells.
“I definitely think the store should not have their associates out here in the parking lot scaring people,” Crystal Jones said.
Police say it’s not unreasonable to think that someone could shoot or harm Henry for scaring them by surprise. His disorderly conduct citation could end up with a fine.