The Daily Aztec

Clowns arrive at SDSU and ‘It’ isn’t funny

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by Emmily Nguyen, Staff Columnist

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What started out as a Halloween prank has spilled into November as the Wasco Clown makes his way around San Diego. Although some clowns have already been arrested, they’re appearing in different location around the city, specifically San Diego State, and other major landmarks, such as Petco Park and Seaport Village.

The Wasco Clown isn’t just one person, but a coalition of terrifying clowns. Those who encourage and perpetuate this kind of behavior are just as guilty.

Regardless of its “American Horror Story” inspiration, Halloween is over. It’s no longer OK to dress in scary costumes and torment people. It is neither an amusing prank nor profound statement, it’s completely traumatizing. First of all, who has the time to organize such terror? Secondly, what kind of sick person knowingly terrorizes whole neighborhoods of unsuspecting citizens? It’s like a horror movie come to life.

Most reports reveal the clowns as a benign threat, but there have been reports of these clowns being armed with machetes and baseball bats. Forget the accessories, being dressed up as a clown and walking around at night is terrifying enough.

A recent Instagram post shows the Wasco Clown holding a balloon and hiding behind a pillar in an unknown SDSU parking lot at night. Coulrophobiac or not, that would creep anyone out, especially those walking alone.

Ideally, the police would be able to take care of it with a ticket, or an arrest for disturbing the peace and being a public menace. But by the time anyone calls the police, the Wasco Clown has usually disappeared into the night.

The Wasco Clown is a social media sensation. It has a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. Instagram pictures usually portray these clowns in the dark, holding balloons. The Facebook page and Twitter feed allow people to post pictures, sightings and even give words of encouragement to the clowns. The Instagram bio says “We cannot be stopped,” with a knife emoji.

Although the humor is what amuses most individuals who encourage this behavior, the dangers are being overlooked.

Imagine seeing one of these terrifying clowns at night while driving. Scaring people in fast moving vehicles can have disastrous consequences such as a drivers swerving and potentially harming other drivers, pedestrians and the clowns involved.

Other concerns include serious mental and physical harm directly related to these sightings. To the people with heart conditions and other health issues, this prank may have fatal consequences.

The Wasco Clown opens doors for any lunatic to dress up like clowns, skulk around dark places and cause chaos. It’s not funny; it potentially opens the door to criminals with malicious intent.

The clowns themselves can be seriously harmed by law enforcement or vigilantes. Many people don’t take too well to nuisances who terrorize their family and friends.

Most people would wet their pants and run away, but others might not be so cowardly, especially in a city like San Diego — citizens aren’t likely to be scared so easily. This can easily be an extremely dangerous situation for both the clowns and the community.

People should feel safe in the community they live in. When partaking in everyday activities, such as walking in a parking lot, strolling down a residential street or driving from place to place, many people have their guards down.

Fearing common criminals when I walk around at night on the semi-safe streets of San Diego is bad enough. The only thing more horrifying than turning the corner and seeing a hooded figure is seeing a creepy clown with a machete.

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