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Part of the Northampton clown's charm, and his ability to keep people indoors scared for their life, was how he never did anything. He just stood there, rarely speaking, letting your imagination do the work. American clowns, however, are acting like violent, abusive jerks. 

American clowns, who must be dressing up to impersonate the Northampton clown's viral success, have been popping up in the news this week for taking their Pennywise impersonations too far. In one instance, a clown was charged with second degree assault after an argument that began in a Taco Bell drive-thru went too far. Lance Cormican, riding shotgun in his buddy's pick-up truck and wearing a clown costume, started arguing with a couple also looking to procure some bland burritos one evening earlier this week. The two groups resumed their argument in the Taco Bell parking lot after satisfying their hunger, with the boyfriend, Cormican and his pal exiting their respective vehicles for diplomatic discussions. Cormican had enough and sucker punched the boyfriend. Just kapow, right in the kisser.

The other concerning clown story is even worse, though. In Wisconsin, a man named Antonio Brown came home drunk from a Halloween party and urged his girlfriend's 13- and eight-year-old kids to drink with him in the woods. The kids tried to run away, but Brown caught one, held him by the ankles over the side of an overpass and said, "If you try that again, I'll drop you." 

Nope. No thanks. Turn it in, pal. 

The Northampton clown was great. He was able to keep up his hilarious, if terrifying, ruse for an entire month before getting caught. But he was harmless. He stood there, didn't smile, held his balloons and he scared people out of their wits. He had a simple formula that worked. Why are you messing with it, American clowns? Why do you constantly take things too far?

Get your acts together, American clowns. Lock it up. Sheesh. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.