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Just clowning around? 3 Dutchmen convicted for frightening cyclists with ax-wielding 'clown'

A Dutch court has convicted three men of threatening behavior after one dressed up as a clown and chased unsuspecting cyclists with an ax.

The other two filmed the prank and posted it on YouTube, according to a written description of the April 24 event that prosecutors released Tuesday.

In one part of the footage, which has been removed from the site, a female bicyclist was videotaped approaching the clown's hiding place in bushes. The prosecutors' statement says the clown jumped out, screamed at the girl, raised the ax over his head and chased her down the street. Police said a male cyclist also was targeted.

The three men, who were not identified by court officials, defended their actions as humorous. All were sentenced to 40 hours' community service.

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