Man opens fire on 'clowns' inside home, police say

'I tried to shoot them,' suspect told police

READING, Pa. - A Reading man is behind bars for allegedly opening fire on what he said were clowns running around inside his home.

Officers were dispatched to the 1400 block of Birch Street on the morning of December 18 for the report of a man shooting someone inside the home, according to court documents released Tuesday.

Those officers said they arrived to find that man, identified as Nathan Matthias, standing outside the home, holding a shotgun.

The officers said Matthias told them he saw "approximately two small clowns" inside his second floor apartment.

"At first, they were curled up in a ball, but then they started to run around, so I tried to shoot them," Matthias told officers, according to the court paperwork. "Still clowns on the roof next door."

Police said they searched the apartment and found no evidence of anyone else having been inside. They did observe Matthias having bloodshot eyes, an odor of alcohol on his breath and a bottle of vodka in his pocket, according to court documents.

Asked by police if he had anything to drink, Matthias replied, "Only a sip." He then admitted to drinking the night before and not having gone to bed, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

The person who lives in the apartment below Matthias was not injured by the gunfire, police said.

Matthias was charged with discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, recklessly endangering another person and possession of a weapon. He was committed to the Berks County Jail on $10,000 bail.

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