A hero cop in Middlesboro, Kentucky, chased down and arrested a creepy clown who was spotted lurking in a wooded area amid a wave of disturbing clown sightings in at least eleven states.
Jonathan Martin, 20, was arrested in full clown gear and charged with wearing a mask in a public place and disorderly conduct.
This comes after police in several states warned pranksters not to dress up in clown outfits as they could face criminal charges for “causing public alarm.”
“Dressing as a clown and driving, walking or standing in public can create a dangerous situation for you and others,” police in nearby Barbourville, Kentucky, said in a statement on Facebook. “While dressing up is not, in and of itself against the law, doing so in public and thereby creating an unnecessary sense of alarm is illegal. Approaching people in a threatening manner and threatening people is illegal.”
Martin was wearing a black and white clown costume with polka dots and stripes, an eerie clown mask with stringy black hair, and a tiny, lopsided top hat. The bozo was found at about 1:00 am on Friday lurking in a wooded area and running toward cars near an apartment complex, police say.
Clowns have been reported in at least eleven states — South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, and Georgia — alarming residents and frustrating law enforcement. Most have turned out to be either false reports or teenagers clowning around in what some are calling the “the great creepy clown panic of 2016.”
In a post at the BlueLivesMatter blog, Charles Jackson says “police have been dealing with clowns for years, but the latest rash of sightings along the east coast is bringing the phrase to a whole new level.”