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Crêpe-y French clown arrested for chasing teens

The creepy clown craze in the United States appears to have spread to France, where a man in clown garb was arrested for chasing pedestrians with a fake knife.

By Ben Hooper

DOUAI, France, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- A French man who dressed in a clown costume and chased teenagers with a fake knife was given a suspended six-month jail sentence.

The 19-year-old was arrested Friday for chasing a group of teenagers in Douai while dressed in a clown costume and brandishing a stick made to look like a long knife.

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The teenager was sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term and 105 hours of community service. He was also banned from carrying a weapon for five years.

The clown, and other creepy clowns reported to be prowling northern France, may have been inspired by the Wasco Clown of California. The Wasco Clown, a Halloween-themed photography project by a married couple, inspired copycat clowns to walk the streets of cities across the United States to scare the locals.

The French clowns are reported to have prowled areas frequented by children and teenagers and chased pedestrians with fake weapons.

Denis Robin, a local government representative for Pas-de-Calai, condemned the clowns on his official Facebook page.

"It is absolutely unacceptable that children are held hostage by such acts," he said.

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