Doo Doo the Clown rescues women from assailant on Toronto street
It was no laughing matter, even for a clown.
Shane Farberman, better known as Doo Doo the Clown, has been in the clowning business for more than 30 years. He's known for his role in the movie Billy Madison, his colourful persona, and the catch phrase "unbelievable!" But on Sunday, it was his quick-thinking act as citizen, rather than clown, that was so unbelievable.
Farberman was driving home from a job in Toronto in full costume, when he saw a man threatening two women and he bolted into action.
Farberman says that he had already been tracking the threatening man for a few blocks.
"He obviously looked like he was in distress. I don't know what happened to him. He was just off-the-wall."
Farberman called 9-1-1 and kept the operator on the line as he watched the man jump on cars and push people.
Then the man started to run aggressively towards the women.
"I screamed as loud as I could, over and over 'Get in my car! Get in my car!'" Farberman explains. "I forgot that I'm in a clown suit and my car's filled with clowns."
But Farberman says there was no time for hesitation and the two women jumped into his vehicle.
"He came back to my car to get these ladies. He was banging on the car and smashing my window. It was crazy."
Farberman says the man was determined to get in the car and ripped off the car's side mirror.
"Everyone was screaming. It was pretty horrifying."
Eventually the police showed up. They struggled to restrain the man and Farberman says it took eight officers to finally hold him down.
"I'm happy I didn't get out of the car. I'm happy the ladies heard me screaming like crazy," Farberman explains. "I'm a clown, I mean the worst I could do is hit him with a balloon animal."
Farberman is relieved that no one was hurt and is overwhelmed by the reaction online. When As It Happens reached Farberman, he was en route to city hall to be honoured for his act of bravery by Toronto councillor Norm Kelly.
"I'm just pulling into city hall and everybody's clapping in the parking booth" Farberman explains. "I've got tears in my eyes. This is crazy."