BOARDMAN, OH — Vernon Barrett Jr. of Boardman is behind bars after trying to teach his child a lesson. As it turned out, the lesson backfired on him.
To discipline his 6-year-old daughter, Barrett must have thought it was a good idea to put on a clown mask and chase her out of their apartment on Saturday.
Fearing for her life, the little girl stormed out of the home and was chased for several blocks by her father whose identity was masked as the deranged clown.
A woman who was in her car saw the pursuit and called 911.
The little girl ran into a random unlocked apartment, pleading for help and asked if she could stay. One of the family members in that apartment, Dion Santiago, looked out the window to spot the mad clown standing outside waiting.
Santiago then grabbed his gun, went outside and shot a couple rounds in the ground near Barrett to scare him away.
Police arrived at the scene and told the little girl that the clown was actually her dad, but she was still too scared to come out of the stranger's home.
Now unmasked, Barrett told police his daughter was misbehaving at home and in school and he wanted to discipline her. He also claimed he was having trouble disciplining her ever since the mother had been jailed for child abuse — physically assaulting the 6-year-old girl by stepping on her and breaking her ribs.
Barrett was arrested for child endangerment and inducing panic. The man who fired his gun to protect the girl, Dion Santiago, was also jailed because he was apparently drunk when he fired the shots.