LAKE STEVENS, Wash. – A Lake Stevens liquor store was robbed by two teens wearing “creepy clown” masks last Thursday, police said Monday.
The suspects, along with a getaway driver, were arrested shortly after the robbery.
“They go, ‘We want all the money out of the register now,’” said Harrison McDaniel, reliving the events of Thursday evening.
McDaniel said he was cornered by two 6-foot people wearing masks and holding baseball bats at Norm’s Market, his father’s liquor store.
“Big teeth,” he described, like “Bozo the Clown with fangs.”
Harrison said he pulled out his knife to defend himself when the two robbers ran out the back door.
He and his father pursued the suspects in their vehicle before police were able to corner them, arresting what they learned later were three out-of-town teens.
Police said they were not sure if the teens used the clown masks out of convenience or for more sinister reason.
“With the creepy clown being a big issue in this country, it’s very possible they were using it to add to the intimidation,” said Lake Stevens Police Chief John Dier.
It’s happened before, he said, and it’s the reason stores across the country are pulling the masks from their shelves. On Monday, Target announced they would stop selling scary clown costumes, two weeks before Halloween.
“I thought the whole scary clown argument was harmless at first,” said Harrison’s father, Shane McDaniel, “until I got robbed a few days later.”
Shane McDaniel said it’s a good idea to stop selling the costumes until things calm down nationwide.
“If these boys would’ve gotten away with it, I can assure you they would’ve robbed again and it might have ended badly for someone,” he said.
The father said if he had seen his son being threatened, he may have used one of the firearms.
Lake Stevens Police said it is a real possibility that someone wearing a clown mask will get hurt if they don’t exercise common sense.
“We’re asking people to not wear it as a way to pull a joke on somebody or scare somebody because that could have some real, unintended consequences and we don’t want anyone getting hurt.”