A professional prankster in Stockton (CA) tried to capitalize on the wave of creepy clown sightings around the country when he claims that he tried to then scare the wrong man.
A California man who dressed up as a “creepy clown” to scare people found the tables turned on him when one of his targets pulled out a handgun.
Sadiq Mohammad, 20, told KCRA that he had been pranking people all over the city of Stockton last week, including Taco Bell drive thru employees and a young boy playing basketball.
When he jumped out from behind a bush to spook a man on the sidewalk, however, the fun and games came to an abrupt end.
Mohammad’s cameraman captured the resulting attack, as the man pulled out a handgun and pistol-whipped the “clown” over the head.
“When that thing hit me, I was literally like, ‘Oh dang, it’s a prank, it’s a joke, it’s a camera right there,'” Mohammad said. “If I didn’t tell him it was a prank, if I wouldn’t have run, I felt like he would have shot me.”
After being struck to the ground, Mohammad and his cameraman took off running.
Here’s the video.
I frankly think that the video was staged by Mohammad and that KCRA was punk’d—the man swinging the gun did so slowly and doesn’t appear to have come close to making contact —but I could be wrong.
In any event, the real question is, “could this be a justified use of deadly force?”
The answer in this instance is clearly and unreservedly “no.”
Mohammad’s gag was to jump out of the bushes dressed as a clown and scare people, but he had no weapons in his hands, and did not make any aggressive actions after jumping out of the bushes. He was a jerk, to be sure, but clearly not a deadly force threat.
Now, if the man started to draw his handgun as Mohammad jumped at him, drew to a ready position, and then put his gun away, I think that most people would have cut him some slack under the “reasonable man” standard.
But that’s not what happened.
It was after Mohammad jumped out, and then started explaining that he was involved in a prank that that man got angry and drew his weapon out of malice. The man then (allegedly) pistol-whipped Mohammad, and after Mohammad began running, the man pointed the handgun at him.
This was assault with a deadly weapon.