Dad wears creepy clown mask to scare daughter into behaving; charges filed after terrified little girl runs screaming

An Ohio dad who decided to scare his daughter by wearing a clown mask and chasing her is now facing charges.

WKNB reports that on Saturday, Vernon Barrett Jr. reportedly wore a scary clown mask and chased his 6-year-old little girl out of their apartment off of Aravesta Avenue in Boardman, after the child was “misbehaving.” Police said Barrett Jr. chased his daughter to a nearby apartment complex on Lemans Drive.

The little girl ran in front of a woman in a car while being chased. The woman noted the child’s screams and promptly called 911. The little girl ended up running into a stranger’s apartment and asking the people inside if she could stay there since a mean clown was chasing her.

Dion Santiago, a member of the family inside the apartment, told police that he looked outside and saw a man wearing a clown mask standing outside. Santiago admitted that he fired off a gunshot into the yard close to the building to scare Barrett Jr. The suspect wasn’t hit or injured in any way. When officers arrived to the apartment, Santiago pointed out the masked man, who identified himself as the little girl’s father.

When officers went into the apartment and explained to the child that the masked man was her father, she remained frightened and ran to a bedroom and hid. Santiago then walked outside of the apartment with the officers, where Barrett Jr. started screaming at him and told him, “I’ll catch you next week.”

Barrett Jr. told authorities he’d never met Santiago or his family before, and he was simply playing a prank on his to child to get her to behave. He said she was having behavioral issues at school and home, but the little girl’s mother had recently went to jail for stepping on her and breaking her ribs. Barrett Jr. said he couldn’t physically discipline his child due to the incident with her mother.

Police arrested Barrett Jr. and charged him with child endangerment and inducing panic. They also arrested Santiago for using weapons while intoxicated after he admitted he drank a few beers before the ordeal occurred. Both men are expected in court on Tuesday morning.

[Feature Photo: Police Handout]