Police in Ohio have arrested a man after he wore a clown mask and chased his terrified six-year-old daughter around their neighbourhood in Boardman.

Vernon Barrett Jr decided to scare his daughter as a way to discipline her for behavioral issues , according to the police report.

The child ran away from her father, jumped into a stranger's car and later ran into an apartment seeking shelter as a clown was chasing her.

A man in the apartment – whom local media identified as Dion Santiago – went outside and fired a gunshot into the ground as a warning.

The man did not shoot at Barrett. However, he was later charged with using weapons while intoxicated, AP reported.

Barrett, who told police he wanted to scare her daughter rather than spanking her as a form of discipline, was charged with child endangering and inducing panic.

The father explained he did not want to spank her as the girl's mother is serving jail time for child endangerment after being convicted of breaking four of the girl's ribs, news site NBC4i reported.

It is not clear whether the man was under the influence when he chased his daughter around the neighbourhood.

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Police arrested a man in Ohio after he chased his terrified daughter while wearing a clown mask iStock