PORTLAND, Ore. – Police arrested a man who wore a clown mask and boxing gloves when he was allegedly shadow boxing toward students outside a Portland middle school Thursday morning.
Police said the masked man, 55-year-old David Dahlman, also threatened the assistant principal of Floyd Light Middle School.
The assistant principal told police he went outside to talk to Dahlman, who responded by threatening him with violence and trying to fight him. No one was hurt.
Dahlman ran away to a nearby mobile home park. Responding police officers found Dalhman inside one of the mobile homes and took him into custody.
Officers learned that Dahlman walked his grandchildren to a school bus stop while wearing the clown mask and boxing gloves before his antics outside the school, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson with Portland police.
Dahlman faces charges of menacing and disorderly conduct.
“Although police made an arrest today based on the suspect's actions, the threat of clown violence has largely been driven by social media reports rather than actual incidents,” Simpson said in a news release. “Members of the community who normally dress up like clowns should be aware of these concerns and should exercise due care when deciding to go out in public.”
Safety tips from Portland police
The Portland Police Bureau would like to offer a general reminder to community members about the importance of safety and awareness:
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Do not get into someone's car even if they display a weapon. Run and find help immediately.
- Walk confidently and don't avoid eye contact.
- Don't let strangers into your 'space.' Keep plenty of distance between yourself and people you don't wish to approach you.
- Don't stop to talk with strangers asking for directions or other types of help as this can be a ploy to get close for an attack.
- If you feel you are in danger or being followed, call 9-1-1
- If grabbed, fight back and make as much noise as possible.
- Use the buddy system when walking after dark. You should know the person you are walking with well enough to trust them.
- Walk in lighted areas as much as possible and don't walk too close to bushes, alleyways or other places where attackers can conceal themselves.