(INSIDE EDITION) A Wisconsin couple was arrested early Friday after authorities say they left their young child at home to go terrorize a neighborhood's motorists while dressed as clowns.
Menasha Police Department responded to an early morning call about reports of two people in clown masks frightening motorists on a city street.
Police say they arrived at the scene to find two men ages 20 and 26 dressed in clown costumes and a 26-year-old woman who'd been driving them around.
Police Chief Tim Styka told WBAY that's when police learned the couple allegely left their little girl at home. "They had left this 4-year-old girl home alone while they decided to go out and do their clowning activities," he said.
The girl was allegedly unattended for hours while the parents were driving around.
The couple was arrested and referred to court on charges of child neglect. Chief Styka told InsideEdition.com his office is working with the DA's Office.
"The child was actually placed outside of the home by Winnebago County Social Services," Styka said.
The 20-year-old man was not charged.
The Menasha incident is just one of multiple reports of menacing clowns that have become a burden to police forces nationwide in recent weeks.
It's a trend that's started to exasperate cops like Chief Styka who must respond to what are often just pranks in order to put a genuinely scared public at ease.
"The biggest takeaway we have for people on this is they really need to stop and think about what they are doing. In this incident the 'clowns' were running after cars at 2:30 a.m., a time known for having a higher level of intoxicated drivers on the road," he said.
"In addition, leaving a 4-year-old home alone also could have had tragic consequences. People are getting tired of these incidents and we are concerned that it is just a matter of time that before an innocent prank can could end with tragic consequences."