MATHEWS — A South Louisiana resident with a recently formed, debilitating fear of clowns shot one of the world’s most recognizable corporate mascots as dozens of children looked on in horror, according to police.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office reported 42-year-old Clifford Hebert, of Raceland, walked into a McDonald’s restaurant near Central Lafourche High School for lunch Saturday when he “totally freaked the fuck out” after spotting a man there dressed as Ronald McDonald.
Police said Hebert, who reportedly claimed he became “scared shitless by creepy clowns” in the past month, was legally carrying a concealed 9mm pistol when he entered the eatery where 32-year-old Doug Fairfield, of Metairie, was portraying Ronald McDonald for a child’s birthday party.
Upon seeing Fairfield adorned like the famous clown, Hebert yelled obscenities in French, brandished his weapon, and shot the veteran Ronald McDonald performer in the shoulder, creating panic among dining customers, including approximately 25 young children celebrating an area boy’s 7th birthday, according to a police report.
“Mais, we told them couyons dressed up like them damn clowns to stay the hell out of Lafourche Parish.”
The incident occurred amid increasing reports of “creepy clown” sightings around the country and growing fear of people wearing clown masks in the parish.
Fairfield was rushed to nearby Ochsner St. Anne Hospital, where he was treated and later released.
When asked by reporters about playing Ronald McDonald in the future, Fairfield said, “They barely pay me enough to put up with the damn kids. I sure as hell don’t get paid enough to get shot by some crazy coonass.”
While Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre said Hebert is facing several charges, including attempted manslaughter, he also claimed vindication for recently warning people against dressing up like clowns in his jurisdiction.
“Mais, we told them couyons dressed up like them damn clowns to stay the hell out of Lafourche Parish,” Webre said. “People around here are more scared of them than the goddam rougarou.”
As for the children who were traumatized by witnessing the beloved character being shot, Webre insisted, “Mais, that’ll teach them not to dress like a goddam clown.”