UPDATE 1:30AM | A ‘CREEPY clown’ photographed catching a ride on a Gold Coast tram has reportedly been arrested.
The scary looking jester was snapped staring down passengers on the tram on Saturday night while sitting in a spot reserved for disabled or pregnant women, despite being surrounded by vacant seats.
He was even spotted stopping for selfies with a few not-so-frightened passers-by on Cavill Avenue.
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However, the man behind the mask was reportedly seen on Orchid Avenue a short time later, in handcuffs and covered in blood.
A woman visiting the Coast from Sydney said she saw the “clown” in handcuffs being escorted away by four police officers near Sin City nightclub.
The woman said the man had “blood all over his face” and appeared as though he may have been assaulted.
FIRST: THE creepy clown craze sweeping America has spread to Australia, with scores of sightings reported in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
The phenomenon is believed to have started in the United States in August after reports emerged of clowns trying to lure children into woodlands in South Carolina. Scroll down for video.
In the months following, creepy clowns have been spotted right across the US, terrorising people of all ages. The trend has forced police in the states to scramble to contain a subsequent wave of hysteria.
Fuelled by social media, the craze has now reached Australia, with the horrifying-looking jesters popping up across several states.
They’ve been sighted in suburban Sydney, Melbourne and in Brisbane.
An influx of “Clown Purge” Facebook pages have since cropped up across the country, including on the Gold Coast where jokers were yesterday planning to dress up as murderous clowns and invade Surfers Paradise today.
One Facebook page even posted a list of schools on the northern Gold Coast that clowns intended on targeting next week.
The post prompted a response from Pimpama State Secondary College – one of the schools mentioned on the list.
“Unfortunately there is at least one individual with time on his/her hands and a lack of originality that is making comments about turning up at schools and railway stations,” the school posted on its Facebook page on Saturday.
“While I believe the threats to be nothing more than bravado, we take the welfare of our students seriously.
“Police have been notified and are determining a response.”
The school said staff would be stationed in the car park from 7.45am and on the street in front of the school as a precaution.
Queensland Police have since confirmed they’ve received numerous reports of people dressing up as clowns and scaring members of the public.
The rapid spike in reported sightings has prompted police from three other Australian states to issue stern warnings to would-be clown pranksters.
“There’s the potential for retaliation or people could be seriously hurt or could die by trying to get away,” Campbelltown police Inspector Tara Norton told the Macarthur Chronicle.
“You also don’t know if the person has a physical condition or mental condition where this behaviour could have disastrous effects.
“There is absolutely nothing funny about scaring people and using fear to do it.”
After numerous sightings in Melbourne, Victoria Police took to Facebook to warn their followers they would not tolerate “any intimidating and threatening behaviour”.
Police in South Australia have issued a similar warnings.
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“Police are aware of recent reports from interstate and overseas concerning situations where people have dressed up as clowns and have randomly attempted to scare or threaten others,” SA Police said in a statement.
“Police would like to emphasise to those who may intend to engage in this kind of behaviour, for whatever intention, that it could potentially result in danger to them or other members of the public.
“Particularly for people who may suffer from a health condition or who may retaliate as a result of feeling threatened.
“If police receive reports of people being threatened in this manner they will investigate the incident and take appropriate action.”
Check out the compilation video below from the United States!