Police arrest one of 20 clowns terrorizing county in California

If the movies “It” and “Killer Clowns from Outer Space” gave you the heebie-jeebies, there’s another reason to be scared of clowns: An outbreak of clowns in the San Joaquin Valley are terrifying residents.

On Thursday, a 14-year-old boy dressed as a clown was arrested for scaring a neighborhood child on Thursday night. The teenager was charged with annoying a minor. The disturbance was one of 20 reports from Kern County in the last week of clowns terrifying children. Police have received reports of clowns wielding guns, machetes and baseball bats.

These pranks are no laughing matter to Bakersfield police. None of the clown reports have resulted in violence so far, but cops fear the trend could escalate.

“We will make arrests on this. We want this to stop,” Bakersfield Police Sgt. Joseph Grubbs told the L.A. Times.

The recent creepy clown trend started on social media on October 1. Photos of an eerie clown posed carrying balloons in poorly lit streets of Wasco, California appeared online. The “Wasco clown” photos were taken by a husband and wife team and posted to an Instagram account as part of a year-long art project.

What started as an art project has spawned the armed-clown copycats, including the arrested teenager who claimed to be copying the Wasco clown. The Wasco clown couple told KGET news that they do not support violence and have no connection to the other clowns.