A small town outside Montpellier in southern France has banned people from disguising themselves as clowns from the streets — especially for Halloween.
The decision by mayor Pierre Dudieuzere of Vendargues follows a series of incidents around France in which people dressed as scary clowns spooked children and in several cases people were assaulted. In one incident, an adolescent assaulted a passerby with an iron bar.
The phenomenon spread over the past few weeks on Facebook, with groups tracking clown sightings across the country. Howeverm Vendargues, with 6,000 inhabitants, is apparently the first town to ban clowning around.
The rule, posted on the town’s website, says the ban was “absolute” for last night and will be in force in November for everyone 13 and older.
Last week, a 19-year-old got a six-month suspended jail term for threatening passersby while dressed as a clown in the town of Bethune.
Police arrested 14 teens on Saturday dressed as clowns and carrying weapons in the Mediterranean port town of Agde.
Not far away in Montpellier, a fake clown chased a man down a street and beat him with an iron bar, prompting a court to jail him for four months.
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