Halloween is approaching, and we can brace ourselves for the mischief and mayhem that accompanies the holiday every year. But thanks to a strange new craze going on across the nation, Halloween-like hijinks have already begun.

Perhaps you have heard about the strange clown hysteria that has put many people on edge throughout the country. For reasons that are not completely clear, some individuals are dressing up like creepy clowns, including one New Jersey teen whose behavior earned a citation from the police.

Reportedly, the 18-year-old decided it would be fun to dress up in a clown outfit and ride around in a Wal-Mart parking lot on the hood of his family’s hearse. According to the young man’s father, the 18-year-old waved to witnesses, some of whom took pictures, and all seemed fine.

But apparently someone followed the hearse back to its owner’s house, and the police were notified. According to the 18-year-old’s father, he and his son were chided by the police officer. He also said that the citation for riding on inappropriate areas of the vehicle will be accepted by the family.

For his part, the young man says he was simply making fun of the recent spate of creepy clown sightings and that he was further motivated by it being so close to Halloween. But for some people, known as “clown hunters,” the situation is no joke. And clown hunters have even put the family on warning.

Halloween pranks may seem like harmless fun, but given the recent concerns raised by the public regarding creepy clown sightings, it is possible that we will see sterner measures taken against those caught in clown regalia.

If your child has gotten in trouble with the law for participating in a prank that went wrong, you may want to contact a juvenile crimes attorney. This is especially true if the prank led to the destruction of property or a disturbance of the peace. You want to make sure that your child’s rights are protected and that he or she is not issued an excessive punishment.

Source: Lehigh Valley Live, “Clown rode on hearse for laughs, not screams, dad says,” Steve Novak, Sept. 29, 2016