OCALA, Fla. – A clown seen hiding near a street line and popping out at drivers in passing cars has some Marion County residents on edge.
Deputies said Friday that they have received a handful of 911 calls from people about the clown.
"Imagine, like, a little kid just walking by, and then, boom, out of nowhere, (a clown)," said Cinthia Delgado, who lives in the area. "I'm scared of clowns, so I would be really terrified."
A video of this creepy clown has gotten nearly 500,000 views on Facebook. People in Ocala said they've spotted the clown on various dirt roads late at night.
"It's kinda weird, somebody dressing up as a clown, going around the neighborhood trying to scare the folks," said Ashley Zelaya, who lives in the area. "I don't think it's delightful, because anyone can just come up and try to attack it."
Neighbor Patrick Collins added, "I haven't seen it, but I've seen it on Facebook. It's crazy. (You) might run off the road, might hit the clown."
Deputies have been monitoring the area, searching for the clown, but haven't had any luck. They're telling people to be cautious as the trend is popping up around the nation, and some of the people who are dressing as clowns are acting suspicious. In some cases, they're luring children.
"I think it is a new trend that's going around," Zelaya said. "And if more of this starts to happen, I don't know how the people around the neighborhood will start reacting."
Deputies haven't figured out who's behind the mask, or if it's just a bad prank.