Dad Using Clown Mask to Scare Daughter Prompts Neighbor to Fire Gun, Both Arrested: Cops


An Ohio man allegedly donned a clown mask as a means of scaring his young daughter, leading to his arrest and that of a neighbor, cops said Saturday.

Police were called to a Boardman Township home just before 10:30 p.m. when a woman dialed 911 with a report of a a small child being chased by a man in a mask.

According to a police report obtained by WFMJ, the girl then ran into an unlocked neighboring apartment and asked the family inside if she could stay there because a clown was chasing her.

The apartment's occupant, 48-year-old Dion Santiago reportedly told cops he shut out the lights and looked out the window to see a man in the yard wearing a clown mask.

That's when cops say Santiago fired off his gun through the window. According to the report, Santiago later told officers that he had not pointed the gun at the man in the mask.

Police say they smelled alcohol on Santiago, who reportedly admitted to officers that he'd been drinking a few beers when the girl entered his apartment.

Officers arrested Santiago on a charge of operating a firearm while intoxicated.

As for the clown, cops say the girl's 25-year-old father, Vernon Barrett Jr., told them he'd decided to play a prank on his daughter to discipline her.

Barrett reportedly said he didn't want to physically punish the girl because her mother had been jailed for breaking some of the girl's ribs.

Barrett was arrested and charged with child endangerment and inducing panic.

Both men are due to be arraigned Tuesday.


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