Father Wearing Clown Mask While Chasing His Daughter Is Arrested After Neighbor Opens Fire

Not exactly a crowd-pleasing performance.

Cory Dudakby Cory Dudak
Man Wearing Scary Clown Mask Against Trees. Photo: Zac Roberts / EyeEm (Getty).

That is a very loaded headline (gun pun intended), but it’s all crucial to the story you are about to read.

Look, we’re happy when parents take research about not spanking their children to heart, but 25-year-old Vernon Barrett Jr. might have gotten a little carried away here. In cuffs, eventually, but allow us to start from the (big) top.

Father In Clown Mask Chases Daughter, Is Arrested After Neighbor Opens Fire

On Saturday, September 16 around 10 p.m., Barrett began chasing his 6-year-old daughter outside their apartment complex in Boardman Township, a suburb outside of Youngstown, Ohio. The rub is that he was wearing a creepy clown mask and not making it crystal clear to anyone in the vicinity what he was doing (don’t worry, his plan was a real doozy).

After his daughter J.B. — her initials were all that were used in the eventual incident report — hopped into a stranger’s car claiming a masked lunatic was after her, Barrett appeared and dragged her out of the vehicle. Then, like any sane person would do, the witness in the vehicle called 911.

“I don’t want to be named,” she told The Washington Post on Monday over the phone, “but I can tell you it scared the bejeezus out of me.” Yep, killer clowns seem to have that effect on people.

Obviously, Barrett was eventually arrested and charged with child endangerment and inducing panic. But that wasn’t until after J.B. had run into the residence of 48-year-old Dion Santiago, who decided to take matters into his own hands by opening fire at the masked nutcase standing outside the building.

Vernon Barrett Jr. (left), and Dion Santiago (right). Photo: Boardman Police

Vernon Barrett Jr. (left), and Dion Santiago (right). Photo: Boardman Police

From there, things got a little heated between the two, and Santiago was also arrested for using weapons while intoxicated. But at the end of the day, responding officer Joseph O’Grady was able to calm J.B. down and get her into the temporary custody of Barrett’s girlfriend while her father awaits a court hearing on the matter.

As for Barrett’s reasoning for the entire incident, it all stems from J.B.’s mother already being in jail for child endangerment after stepping on her and breaking several of her ribs. “Barrett said due to this he cannot discipline his daughter and reported they have been having behavior problems with J.B. at school and home,” O’Grady’s report stated. “Barrett said that he decided to use the clown mask into scaring her to behave” instead of spanking, but that the “prank” got away from him.

In short: Deadbeat dads make terrible clowns.

h/t fredericksburg.com

In case you were still wondering why people find clowns so upsetting: The 25 Scariest Scary Clowns In Popular Culture