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'Creepy clown' attacks teenagers in Germany

Katharina Wecker
October 21, 2016

Two teenagers were attacked in northern Germany by men disguised as scary clowns. The phenomenon of "creepy clowns" has spread across the country after first sightings in western Germany.

Creepy clowns
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/E. S. Lesser

According to German police, a man disguised as a "horror clown" beat up a 19-year-old man with a baseball bat Thursday night in the northern German city of Rostock. The victim sustained injuries on his head and arm.

Earlier that day, a 15-year-old boy was threatened with a knife by a 'creepy clown' in the same town. The teenager was able to run away unharmed.

It is not clear whether both attacks were carried out by the same attacker.

Also on Thursday, across the country in the western Germany of Wesel, a 48-year-old woman was walking her dog when a person in a clown mask suddenly appeared from the bushes on the side of the road wielding a chainsaw. He tried several times to start the chainsaw but failed. The woman escaped unharmed

Attack on children, deaf man

On Wednesday, an assailant dressed as 'creepy clown' scared five children aged seven to 13 in Bochum, western Germany. He approached the children in a dimly lit subway without saying anything while holding a "shiny object," likely a knife, the police reported. 

In the neighboring town of Gelsenkirchen, a deaf man was attacked by two men dressed up as clowns on Wednesday. The clowns charged at the 33-year-old with a knife and left him with light injuries, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The attackers then fled on a scooter. 

On Monday, a 14-year-old teenager was injured when he fled from a 'creepy clown' carrying a baseball bat, also in Gelsenkirchen. It turned out, however, that the clown was a friend of the teenager who wanted to scare him, the police said. 

Originating in the US in August, the most recent strings of scary clown sightings appears to have caught on in Germany as well. The first sighting of a 'creepy clown' was reported in Wesel in mid-October when two men were approached at a train station by an armed man disguised as a clown.

More horror clowns expected over Halloween

Police said to expect an increase in such attacks over Halloween. "I'm afraid that the very, very ugly trend of clown attacks will spread in the big cities over Halloween," the head of Germany's main police union, Rainer Wendt, told the Huffington Post on Thursday.

Wendt called on victims to report any clown incidents to the police. "The clowns are not only idiots but criminals. To scare someone in such a disgusting way is an assault," he said.