Masked clown could face jail time for scaring drivers in Dauphin County

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EAST HANOVER TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. -- Masked clown sightings in central Pennsylvania continue, with the latest leading to an arrest.

Pennsylvania State Police arrested a Lebanon County man for allegedly scaring drivers in a Dauphin County neighborhood.

There have been several reports of clown sightings with no arrests, but the man arrested in this case is no stranger to the police.

A few people driving past an East Hanover Township intersection in Dauphin County may have been shocked to see a masked clown jump out at them Wednesday night.

Motorist Nell Colyer said "I think it's stupid, they're just asking to get shot."

Pennsylvania State Police arrested 34-year-old Jonathan Kline of Palmyra, Lebanon County for chasing or screaming at cars that slowed down, while wearing a clown mask.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Hicks said "with all the clown sightings and threats that have been going on in the media the past few weeks, it's definitely escalated the situation. What this individual was doing by jumping out in the middle of traffic was dangerous in itself, but then adding to it wearing the clown costume it definitely amplifies things."

This isn't Kline's first run in with the law.

He already has a history of charges for stalking, and simple assault. He had a court date the morning of his arrest for a separate harassment charge. Now, he faces a disorderly conduct charge for the clown prank.

"We've gotten numerous phone calls about these reported clown sightings, so the fact that we were actually able to make contact with one and make an arrest does send a message. It lets people know that these aren't harmless acts, that people are affected by these sightings," Trooper Hicks said.

Police have a few words for anyone who has ideas about following in this clown's footsteps.

"This wasn't the crime of the century, however with clowns being in the news as much as it has been, and the fact that they are causing concern, people need to realize that these actions do have consequences," Trooper Hicks said.

The disorderly conduct charge is a minor offense in Pennsylvania, classified as a summary offense.

If found guilty, Kline faces up to 90 days in jail, and a fine up to $500.

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