SAN DIEGO – The creepy clown scares around the nation has McDonald’s pulling their red-haired mascot Ronald from public events.
“McDonald’s and franchisees in the local markets are mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities and as such are being thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events for the time being,” McDonalds spokeswoman Terri Hickey said in a statement to FOX 5.
The decision was made after several clown pranks were reported around the U.S., including San Diego County.
A Poway man also reported an encounter in early October when he saw three young men wearing creepy clown masks. One of them made a sudden dash toward his car before body slamming into the vehicle. The man recorded the incident on his phone.
Reports of encounters were occurring with increasing frequency in recent weeks across the country. The weird trend apparently began in South Carolina, where costumed circus- entertainer types supposedly were attempting to lure children into wooded areas. Officials called those accounts bogus.
Most of the incidents appear to have amounted to pranks, though some have resulted in threat-related arrests.
FOX 5 was waiting to hear back from Ronald McDonald House Charities San Diego officials Tuesday to check on the status of Ronald appearing at their events.