VIENNA (AFP) - The so-called creepy clown trend has spread to Austria, where several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants in the lead-up to Halloween.
Three men disguised as "horror clowns" assaulted a 19-year-old man with a baseball bat at the weekend in the western state of Tirol, local police said on Tuesday (Oct 25). The suspects fled the scene.
In another incident, a 16-year-old jogger was seriously injured on Sunday when she fell down a steep hill after being scared by a creepy clown who had jumped in her path in the Carinthian city of Villach.
The teenager was hospitalised while the suspect manage to escape, police said.
Another 16-year-old girl twisted her ankle on Monday evening when she ran away from a man wearing a clown mask in a parking lot and fell down some stairs in central Styria state. The authorities said they were still searching for leads regarding the suspect.
People have been reporting numerous other sightings across Austria on special Facebook pages dedicated to creepy clown spotting.
Police have issued several warnings in recent days against wearing a clown mask.
"If you scare someone, you could be already committing an offence," Carinthian police spokesman Michael Masaniger said last week.