Shots fired after Ohio man chases daughter in clown mask

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Boardman police say Vernon Barrett Jr. wore a clown mask and chased his six-year-old daughter around the neighborhood.

She was screaming that a clown was chasing her around the Boardman Township in the US State of Ohio.

'Barrett said that he made a decision to use the clown mask into scaring her to behave, ' responding officer Joseph O'Grady wrote in an incident report obtained by the Washington Post.

Police say the girl was so terrified she jumped into a stranger's auto and then into a stranger's apartment on Saturday night, according to Fox6.

Barrett, wearing the clown mask, approached and yanked the girl out of the vehicle, the woman inside told police after calling 911 to report the shocking encounter.

Barrett, wearing the clown mask, then allegedly pulled his daughter out of the auto, but she managed to break free and ran toward Santiago's apartment.

Dion Santiago, one of the people living in the apartment, told the police that when he looked out of his window, he saw the man - now identified as Barrett Jr., still wearing the mask and standing outside of the building. The gunshot didn't hit Barrett.

That's when the man at that apartment fired a gunshot into the ground as the father approached the girl.

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"I attempted to tell J.B. that it was OK and that it was her father", O'Grady wrote.

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

His family defended his actions though, saying that fears of a resurgence of creepy clowns following the release of the movie It had heightened his alarm. Another family member in the Santiago household attempt to bring the girl out to officers, but when an office tried to explain to the girl that the clown was her father, the girl ran away again and hid in the back bedroom.

The child was placed in the custody of Barrett's girlfriend while he was detained.

Both men are due to be arraigned Tuesday.

The fact that it was a clown chasing the girl probably exacerbated the situation, the psychologist added.

"Children learn not through suffering but by doing it right", Kennedy-Moore said.

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