News & Politics

Clown Update: Schools in Several States Threatened, Clown Shot in Indiana as Craze Spreads

School districts in several states have notified parents of increased security due to “clown threats” as the creepy clown phenomenon sweeping the country continues to cause alarm. The clown sightings spread to several more states in recent days and a clown is in critical condition in Indiana after getting shot.

In Missouri, several St. Louis County school districts notified parents of a potential creepy clown threat.

In an email sent out Sunday, Ferguson -Florissant School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Davis said the district learned of a threat to a number of schools in the St. Louis County area that appear to be related to the national craze of creepy clown hoaxes and sightings.

The letter went on to say, “None of our schools were mentioned in the threat; however, McCluer North was mentioned later in one of the threads. While we believe the threat is not credible, we are taking the posting seriously and cooperating with police in their investigation.”

Classes will held as usual in the district on Monday, but there will be an increased police presence at all schools.

The clown threats to Philadelphia-area schools are so severe that Homeland Security has gotten involved with the investigation. The threats, which were made on Instagram Saturday, listed specific schools. One post specifically threatened to “blow up” the Philadelphia School District headquarters.

The school district and the Philadelphia Police Department issued a joint statement on Sunday afternoon in response to the “scary” threats.

“The School District of Philadelphia’s Office of School Safety alerted both the Philadelphia Police Department and the Office of Homeland Security Saturday upon learning of these disturbing social media posts,” the statement said. “The safety of our children and the communities surrounding our schools is a top priority for us and we are taking this matter seriously.”

A post that attracted a lot of attention on social media came from an account titled phillyclown.215.

The post is rather alarming and threatens Philadelphia school students.lIt states, “We coming to all north east charter high schools…” It goes on to state, “we will be after your let out on Wednesday.”

A second post from the account goes on to say, “the gang is in philly…” and “ya’ll ain’t safe. it’s 12 of us yaheard.”

Catholic schools in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, which have also been threatened, put out a statement that read in part: “Schools that were specifically named in threats have been in direct contact with law enforcement and will have a police presence tomorrow as a cautionary measure.”

In Louisiana, Kaplan Police and the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office are investigating creepy clown threats to schools in Vermilion Parish.

In a statement released Sunday by Kaplan Police Chief Boyd Adams, the chief says police will be out in full force throughout the day Monday to ensure that all schools in the area are safe.
“In regards to the Facebook threats from the clowns in Kaplan schools. I want to reassure all parents that we are on top of these threats and hope to resolve them today.

Late Sunday afternoon, Adams announced the arrest of a juvenile in connection to the creepy clown threats toward Kaplan- and Erath-area schools. He said police arrested a suspect just after 5 p.m. Sunday on charges of “making terrorist threats and inducing panic.”

In Corpus Christi, Texas, police are also grappling with clown hysteria after “an unknown person with a clown profile picture” posted on social media his intention to visit ten CCISD schools throughout the night.

Tom Browne Middle School was one of the campuses. A 7th grade student who attends that school is facing disciplinary action after allegedly encouraging that unknown person to come on campus.

The district says other students might be involved. CCISD police and CCPD are trying to find that unknown person who posted the message.

Carroll High School was also named. Eva Gonzalez’s grandkids go to Carroll and Tom Browne.

“My granddaughter is really afraid of clowns, and so, she’s terrified. She goes to Carroll and she’s terrified,” Gonzalez says.

Cops in Florida are pleading with young people to please stop dressing like creepy clowns.

“Our citizens are frustrated with everything going on in society and this is another issue to address,” Christopher Nacco, the sheriff of Pasco County, Florida, told NBC News in an email Saturday following a spate of claimed sightings.

“We are warning teens and young adults not to get involved in this fad, of dressing up as clowns to cause fear,” Nacco added, “because eventually someone is going to perceive their actions as a threat and take justice in their own hands.”

A clown in Fort Wayne, Indiana, found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is now in an area hospital in critical condition. According to WANE-TV, a man in a clown suit was shot several times while he was walking down the street at around 12:30 Friday afternoon. In this case, the clowning was particularly ill-considered because he was in a bad part of town.

Fort Wayne Police Department spokesperson Michael Joyner said a white colored suv pulled up alongside of the clown. A man was driving. Joyner said the man got out of the car and fired several shots. The man then got back in the suv and headed north on Plaza.

“This isn’t the first shooting that’s happened on this street,” neighbor Joe Wright said. “They happen often down the street.”

Joyner said he doesn’t know why people are dressing as clowns, but he said he suspects fear is a factor across the city.

“I just think it’s crazy,” Wright said. “People better take those clown mask off… before the coroner does.”

Residents in four more states spotted clowns in their areas over the weekend:

Police in Big Rapids, Michigan received complaints of a creepy clown prowling a neighborhood late at night.

North Platte, Nebraska, had its first clown sighting Friday afternoon.

“A citizen reported seeing a person in a clown mask holding a machete,” said Investigator John Deal. “He was unsure if the machete was real or not.” Deal said the citizen started to approach the clown and the clown took off running. “The area was searched but no one was located,” Deal said.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office hadn’t received any reports of clown sightings as of Friday afternoon.
“We only have cows out creeping around,” said Chief Deputy Roland Kramer of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. “And a few coyotes.”

And the creepy clown craze also spread to Idaho where law enforcement in Shoshone County confirmed that “at least one individual, dressed as a clown, has been exhibiting stalking behavior and violence.”

“A majority of these cases seem to be pranks that are taken too far,” wrote Shoshone County Sheriff Lieutenant Taylor Marlow. “The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office takes these reports seriously and are currently working on the ‘clown’ cases that have been reported to us.”

KREM-TV reports Shoshone County Sheriff’s deputies say the incidents all involve “fake” Facebook pages belonging to people dressed as clowns or identifying themselves as clowns.

“We are doing everything in our power to ensure these perpetrators know that terrorizing our citizens will not be tolerated,” wrote Marlow. “We will do everything we can to make sure they are held accountable.”

Similar incidents have been reported to police in eastern Idaho, according to the Twin Falls Times-News. They include alleged incidents of a creepily dressed clown chasing people in Wendell Sept. 28, and an ominous threat sent by an anonymous text message to a Jerome High School student Sept. 29.

A woman and her kids in Effingham, Illinois are sleeping in the living room together because a clown they saw outside creeped them out so much.

“My daughter and a friend were sitting on the porch when they saw a man dressed up in a clown costume,” Amanda Smith told the Effingham Daily News. “They said he was shining a flashlight on them. They were scared to death.”

Finally, a disturbing clown sighting in South Point, Ohio, was decidedly not a prank or hoax, and the machete he was wielding was not a prop from the Walmart Halloween aisle.

It was no laughing matter for Jeffery Pauley and his family when he says a man wearing white face paint, a white wig, and carrying machete approached his grandmother’s screened in back patio a little after 12:00 Saturday morning on the 200 block of 4th Street East in South Point.

Pauley says the clown walked up the driveway and sliced a part of the screened in patio with the machete.

“It’s very scary,” said Pauley. “I’ve got a little daughter and after what happened tonight it still freaks me out. I just have so many precautions now.”

Witnesses tell WSAZ they saw several “suspicious” people walking around the neighborhood around the time the clown approached Pauley’s grandmother’s patio.

Pauley says it’s alarming to know that that kind of activity is going on in South Point.

“I really didn’t think it would happen but anything can happen now days,” said Pauley.

South Point Police Chief, Chris Majher is urging anyone in the area thinking about dressing up as a clown to think twice before doing so, because someone, more than likely dressed like a clown, could get hurt.

“The last thing we want to see is the possibility of someone just trying to pull off a joke,” says Chief Majher. “To come out here dressed as a clown and then go on someone’s front porch and the next thing you know they’re shot, and their dead and it ends up just being nothing more than getting someone scared.”

Thanks, Chief Majher, but if I see a clown slicing through one of my screened windows with a machete, I’m not taking that as a “joke.” I’m dialing 911 and taking immediate action. And by immediate action, I mean that Bozo had better be able to run fast in his clown shoes because his machete will not be any match for what I have in store for him.

PJ Media has previously reported clown incidents in 22 states:  South Carolina, North CarolinaOhioFloridaWisconsinKentuckyVirginiaWest VirginiaTennesseeMarylandGeorgiaNew YorkPennsylvaniaAlabamaIndianaMissouriKansasColoradoArizonaNevada, Oregon, and Arkansas, alarming residents and frustrating law enforcement. The addition of Texas, Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska, and Idaho brings the grand tally of states affected by the clown contagion to at least 27.