Police question bridge-crossing clown when umbrella is mistaken for gun

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., Sept. 22 (UPI) — Police in South Carolina questioned a bridge-crossing clown after a 911 caller mistook the costumed character’s umbrella for a gun.

Mount Pleasant police said a witness called 911 Wednesday to report a man in full clown regalia was crossing the Ravenel Bridge and appeared to be carrying a gun.

“It appeared to be a male, but he had full face makeup on dressed like a clown,” the caller told 911 dispatchers in records obtained by WCIV-TV. “It’s a thing, and it’s a little sketchy, and he appeared to have a rifle underneath his right arm. Could have been something else.”

The caller attempted to describe the clown’s attributes, but had a difficult time through the clown’s costume and makeup.

“When I looked, my impression was that’s a crazy ass 50-some-year-old perv. I mean, I can’t give you anything solid on that,” the caller said. “To look at him, he looks all rainbow. I think from the front there’s more color.”

The caller made a second pass across the bridge to get a better look at the clown.

“They won’t miss him. He’s half red, half yellow, and… OK, I’m sorry that is absolutely an umbrella he is carrying, not a gun,” the caller said. “Oh I’m glad I was able to verify that. I’m sorry that I guessed that wrong. Like I said, I just saw the wooden part and said what I thought it was.”

Charleston police arrived and shut down the right lane of traffic to speak with the clown. Officers said the man wasn’t up to any funny business and was crossing the bridge in costume as a tribute to a recently deceased clown comrade.

The clown was allowed to finish his walk.

“He’s just a clown walking across the bridge,” Mount Pleasant Police Inspector Chip Googe told The Post and Courier. “He said he was paying tribute to another clown that had apparently passed away or had some other troubles.”

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