‘It was absolutely terrifying’ - UEA student chased through Norwich park at night by clown

PUBLISHED: 07:54 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 07:54 13 October 2016

Eaton Park.

Eaton Park. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A 19-year-old woman who was chased through a Norwich park at night by a man dressed as a clown has described the ordeal, which saw her suffer a panic attack, as “absolutely terrifying”.

The sinister craze of dressing up as a clown to frighten innocent passers-by has seen people around the country chased and, in a handful of incidents, injured.

The University of East Anglia student, who asked to remain anonymous, was jogging through Eaton Park on Sunday night when she saw the man appear from behind a tree.

“I slowed down because, it sounds silly, but I thought I was hallucinating,” she said. “But when I got closer I realised that it was what I thought. He jumped out from behind the tree and shouted at me.

“I was already jogging so I just sped up, but when I looked round he was sprinting towards me.”

The student, who said she was scared of clowns before the incident, raced home to escape her follower.

She said: “I’m grateful that it was quiet, because I was just sprinting across the road.

“I had a panic attack while I was trying to get home - it was absolutely terrifying. In some of these cases they have had weapons, so you just don’t know what could happen. I was a woman on my own in the dark.”

On Tuesday, police confirmed a 30-year-old man had been arrested in relation to the incident and was later cautioned.

But the 19-year-old said she was disappointed he had not been charged with an assault.

“A caution isn’t going to deter people - it’s not sending a message,” she said.

When asked if she thought fancy dress shops should remove clown costumes from their shelves, she said she thought it would make little difference.

Similar incidents have been reported in King’s Lynn and elsewhere in Norwich.

Supt Lynne Cross, from Norfolk Constabulary, has said incidents will not be tolerated and anyone causing distress “will be dealt with robustly”.

Police patrols have also been increased in Eaton Park.

• Have you been affected by the craze? Email

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