NEWNAN, Ga. - A man dressed as a clown ended up in the back of a police car after police said he was going around scaring people in the parking lot of the Newnan Walmart.
Rodeny Allen Byram, of Alabama, is charged with disorderly conduct. His arrest was captured by police body cameras.
“I've been hearing about the clowns and as soon as we pull up in Walmart, I look down and there's a clown. I was like maybe this is real,” said Ashley Glass.
Glass was able to get a few pictures of the incident. She said she saw all the clown mania on social media, but was terrified when she saw it happen in front of her. Glass said she called police after he started making gestures, making her nervous.
“He came in front of my car and was actually on the pole at Walmart, then when he walked off he shot me two birds. I said ‘Something is wrong with this clown’” Glass said.
Police arrived and arrested Byram, the man in the clown suit. In police body cam video, you can hear Byram plead with officer.
“Sir, I was not scaring people. I promise, I was not scaring nobody,” Byram could be heard saying on the recording.
But other customers painted a different story and Byram was hauled off to the Coweta County Jail.
“People you don't know, they don't know you. They have no idea what you're up too,” said Newnan Police Chief D.L. Meadows as he explained why this clown business has to stop before some gets seriously hurt. “Somebody out seeing someone doing this, and they go into protective mode of somebody... They could do serious harm to someone not knowing it was someone doing a stupid prank.”
Byram told police he didn't know it was illegal to scare someone, a comment he also made to Glass.
“I just looked at him. He said ‘You should have told me it was scaring you.’ You just shot me the bird, what am I going to tell you ‘you scaring me’ for?” Glass explained.
Chief Meadows said calls like this take away from what his officers need to be doing and he asks that people stop pranking people they don't know.