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A California man who dressed up as a "creepy clown" to scare people found the tables turned on him when one of his targets pulled out a handgun.

Sadiq Mohammad, 20, told KCRA that he had been pranking people all over the city of Stockton last week, including Taco Bell drive thru employees and a young boy playing basketball.

When he jumped out from behind a bush to spook a man on the sidewalk, however, the fun and games came to an abrupt end.

Mohammad's cameraman captured the resulting attack, as the man pulled out a handgun and pistol-whipped the "clown" over the head.

"When that thing hit me, I was literally like, 'Oh dang, it's a prank, it's a joke, it's a camera right there,'" Mohammad said. "If I didn't tell him it was a prank, if I wouldn't have run, I felt like he would have shot me."

After being struck to the ground, Mohammad and his cameraman took off running.

"So, a person has the right to defend themselves using reasonable force," Sacramento attorney Kresta Daly said. "It's probably not reasonable to pull a gun."

"By the time the clown is saying it's a prank and, you know, trying to get away and visibly being very scared, the threat has ended. And the right to self-defense ends when the threat ends."

Mohammad said the incident has deterred him from trying to pull any more creepy clown pranks.

"Lesson learned is, like, people don't play with the clown stuff," he said. "Like, people really will shoot anybody."

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