Five Indiana men are in custody after assaulting people with pies.
The incident occurred Saturday evening at Arbuckle Acres Park in Brownsburg, Indiana.
Brownsburg police say they received multiple calls about a group of people dressed like clowns running around throwing pies at people. When a nearby officer responded to the call, he was greeted with a messy scene. The park was covered in whipped cream and empty pie tins, and frightened bystanders were scrambling to take cover behind any object they could find. Some had fled to their cars, while others hid in nearby public bathrooms. Circus music was blaring from a parked vehicle nearby, a Volkswagen Beetle painted with polka dots.
“It was pure chaos,” described Officer Darryl Powell, the first responding police officer on the scene. “There was whipped cream everywhere, people were confused and panicking.”
Officer Powell spotted several of the assailants, who were dressed in clown costumes, chasing after three women running for the public restroom. When Powell demanded the assailants stop, another person in a clown costume approached him from behind and hit him with a pie. As Officer Powell turned around, the person proceeded to spray Powell in the face with a bottle of unknown liquid, believed to be seltzer water.
Officer Powell then called for backup. However, dispatch informed him that there were no available units nearby at the moment. Powell was forced to take cover in his police cruiser as the group of clowns turned their attention on him, pelting the cruiser with pies and blowing air horns until backup arrived.
The clowns, who police have not publicly identified, were arrested and taken into custody. Police say the group faces an array of charges, including disturbing the peace, vandalism, assault and battery, and assault of a police officer.
No motive has been given for the bizarre attack. However, witnesses said the clowns had been driving around the park in the Volkswagen Beetle while loudly playing circus music and screaming nonsensical phrases at people.
Deshaun Teller, who had been pushing his three year old son on a swing nearby when the incident began, recounted how the strange incident unfolded.
“I was pushing my kid on the swing, when I hear this loud music playing. I look around and I see this little car with polka dots come rolling up into the parking lot. They roll down the windows, and it’s these clowns. I thought there was an event going on or something.”
Deshaun’s son wanted to go over and see the clowns, but as Deshaun helped his son off the swing, the clowns began screaming at people.
“They were yelling all kinds of crazy stuff,” said Deshaun. “I couldn’t really hear exactly what they were saying over the music, but it didn’t sound like anything good.”
Other witnesses at the scene reported that the clowns were yelling “Hail Honkler!” and repeating the lyrics to the 1973 hit Elton John song “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” as they drove around the park chasing geese and throwing pies. The clowns eventually got out of the car and began chasing people down on foot, while continuing to scream, blow air horns, and throw pies. They only stopped chasing park goers when Officer Powell arrived, choosing instead to redirect their bizarre assault on him.
Many people at the scene were thankful Officer Powell arrived when he did, noting that had he not showed up the clowns would have continued their attack on the general public.
“This guy’s a hero,” said Leticia O., who was among the clowns’ pieing victims. “If he didn’t get there when he did who knows what those clowns would’ve done.”
Officer Powell thanked the community for their support.
“It’s what we (the Brownsburg Police Department) do. All in a day’s work.”
The officer also had a message for the clowns.
“I hope you’ll think twice before clowning around in Brownsburg again. Otherwise you’ll be the ones with pie on your faces.”
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