By Tim Binnall
Pranksters in Ukraine who have been dressing up as Pennywise the clown, scaring strangers, and posting videos of the incidents on YouTube are tempting fate as authorities are now on the hunt for the group and say that their antics are illegal. According to a local media report, the bizarre brouhaha began back on December 9th when the prankster was first spotted in the city of Mukachevo, appearing from behind a wall and startling motorists. After pictures of the clown were published in an area newspaper, similar sightings of the character became a daily occurrence and soon videos of his 'performances' starting popping up online.
Although some residents of Mukachevo found the pranks to be amusing, others weren't too thrilled about the prospect of being terrified by a stranger dressed as a creepy clown. In turn, regional authorities announced that they have begun criminal proceedings surrounding the publication of the videos. Specifically, they say that they violate a statute that prohibits "making and distributing a video that probably promotes a cult of violence and cruelty." Lest one think that the clown and his cohorts might receive a slap on the wrist should they be caught, violating the law could actually send the faux Pennywise to prison for five years!
Interestingly, although the people behind the clown scare are unknown to police, they managed to answer to the charges by way of the YouTube channel where they've been posting their videos. In response to the criticism aimed at their pranks, the mysterious group argued that "our videos don’t carry violent propaganda. Many write that we can bring people to a heart attack. I explain: we are not joking with old people and children." They also sent a rather bold message to the prosecutors looking the capture the clowns by declaring ominously that "they'll never stop us. It's just the beginning."