Friday, January 30, 2015

Criminal Clowning: This Month in Coulrophobic News

An arrest finally came in the assault of a Troy, NY art gallery owner who was brutally assaulted while dressed as a clown on Halloween.  Cody Santalucia, who perhaps ironically looks a bit clownish himself in some photos circulated through media in recent weeks, is being held in Rensellaer County Jail following his arraignment for the attack on Ray Felix which left the gallerist with major head injuries.

In Florida, reports of a group of bikers wearing clown masks "terrorizing" a 55 year old woman outside an Ovieda gas station on New Year's Eve had police on the alert.  Later information clarified that only one of them was wearing a clown mask, and is still being sought by local police, after two of the motorcyclists identified cooperated with investigators and admitted to "driving erratically."

On January 3, man in a clown mask robbed a Subway restaurant at gunpoint in Hempfield, Pennsylvania, swiping the cash register before stealing $2 from a 17 year old customer who entered during the robbery to buy a soda, then took off in a white minivan.

“He had the scariest clown mask I’ve even seen,” the Subway worker told a local tv station. “I haven’t slept. I haven’t eaten. It just keeps replaying in my mind. I keep hearing his voice over and over.”

Less than a week later, police arrested  Matthew Goodwin, 36, who was found overdosed on drugs next to a broken cash register at a nearby trailer park.  The clown mask and toy gun apparently used in the heist were also found in the trailer.

This is the second robbery of a Subway by a clown masked perpetrator in less than 3 months, after a similar incident in Greenville, North Carolina in late October, and at least the 5th such robbery of a Subway I have on file from recent years.

On January 13, Toronto police collared two suspects believed to have been behind eight robberies since October 31.  Authorities allege that Daniel Crosby, 20, and Marek Adam, 19, knocked over a series of dollar stores and fast food joints while wearing scary clown masks and brandishing an axe and a replica assault rifle.

A McDonald's in Taylorsville, Utah was similarly hamburgled by two men on January 22, one wearing a clown mask, and the other a plain black face mask, though in typical fashion, most media headlines opted to focus on the flashier, iconic image of the clown mask.

What clown crime round-up is complete without a Juggalo appearance? A Forth Smith, Arkansas man was hospitalized after an intruder in an ICP mask beat him with a baseball bat about the arms and head, declaring "Consider this a warning." other clownish news, an eastern Michigan man this month rejected a plea deal on charges that he obstructed police while trespassing in a clown mask during some sort of prank, the details of which remain murky...

...and an annual UK clown convention was in full swing this week in Lowestoft, Suffolk... which coincidentally happens to be the same British town that the notorious "Northampton Clown" whored himself out to a haunted house attraction last Halloween, following his 15 minutes of internet fame traipsing about the Northants area. As with a recent clown convention this side of the pond, the Lowecraft convention saw some acknowledgement of increased awareness of coulrophobic and evil clown motifs are on the rise, signalling once again that the professional clown community has finally ceased dismissing this and begun discussing it openly as a real issue facing their occupation....

... and I just love how much one of my all-time favorite DC characters, Harley Quinn, has been really blowing up recently.  Her standalone comic book reboot, launched last January, is still selling well, 13 issues in, and attention to her character has further been boosted by trailers for the much-hyped Arkham Knight game due out in June, along with publicity around the casting of Margot Robbie to play the former psychiatrist in a first ever live action appearance in the upcoming Suicide Squad film.  Now, there is even a new "Harleen" fashion line, on sale at Hot Topic stores.

I saw some of it at a Hot Topic the other day, and it's mostly quite hideous, but that's ok... it was never her look that most endeared me to her, anyway, but her tragic, frayed psyche.
I can't help it, obsession and instability are just hot to me... they just are.