Police have arrested and charged a Kentucky man with wearing a mask in public and disorderly conduct. Middlesboro police received complaints that a clown was lurking behind an apartment complex at 1am. The scary clown, 20-year-old Jonathan Martin, was reportedly found by police crouching in the woods outside of the apartments, the natural nocturnal habitat for frightening clowns. Photos were taken of Martin’s arrest and booking, where he looked considerably less threatening without the mask:
Local reporters point out that Martin wasn’t merely charged with being a spooky creep, but for outstanding warrants and failure to appear for arraignment.
This arrest is the latest incident in a wave of jagoffs dressing up as spooky clowns across the country. In August, warnings were issued to the residents of a Greenville County, South Carolina apartment complex after numerous sightings of a clown that was allegedly attempting to lure children into the woods. And earlier this month, authorities responded to reports that a man with a machete was seen chasing a clown into the woods—again outside of an apartment complex. In Pennsylvania, there have been multiple reports of clowns seen along roadsides, peeking in windows, and bothering children at playgrounds. But there have also been unfortunate misunderstandings, such as Green Bay incident that turned out to be a promotional stunt for a movie about a scary clown.
Making things worse, the Washington Post has discovered the pervasiveness of false reports and prank calls to the police. While police would rather not investigate every phoned in complaint of yet another directionless, copycat-Bozo huddling in the woods outside of another local apartment complex, authorities probably feel duty-bound to respond (presumably because they watched Stephen King’s IT.)
Given the viral nature of 2016’s clown blight, there’s clearly a niche group who think it’s hilarious to phone in some prank complaints, or don a pom-pommed onesie and latex mask, crouch for hours at the tree line of an apartment complex, desperately yearning to be noticed by neighbors.