NC Police Clown Crackdown: People in Costumes Could be Arrested and Charged

Creepy clown sightings have escalated in the Carolinas in recent days, baffling police and leaving residents on edge. In the past month police have received more than a dozen reports from people claiming that clowns -- some in masks and some in white face paint -- were acting strangely in their area.

"The clowning around needs to stop," Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller said during a press briefing on Sept 1. "It's illegal, it's dangerous, it's inappropriate, it's creating community concern." Miller warned that those involved in the clown incidents could be arrested.

Miller said the Greenville PD has "added patrols" to see if they can intercept the person(s) behind the incidents.

"What I can also say is that -- for those of you who may be inclined to dress in clown outfits -- there is a specific state law that prohibits that for anyone over the age of 16 and it's not smart," he said. "It could be dangerous for you, it could be dangerous for others. But it's against the law, and we want to let you know that we will charge you. We really don't want to but we will because you're creating a disruption in our community, you're creating fear and concern."

But the clowning has continued with more sightings reported over the weekend and two more on Tuesday.

Via Heat Street:

The latest incident involving a clown allegedly occurred on Tuesday morning, when police say a man wearing a “scary clown mask” and “red curly wig” disappeared into the woods after being chased by another man wielding a machete in the Greensboro, North Carolina area.

A “local witness reported that a person wearing a scary clown mask, red curly wig, yellow dotted shirt, blue clown pants and clown shoes exited the woods,” behind an apartment complex, Greensboro police said in a statement.

“Upon seeing the clown, another witness — an adult male — ran after it yielding a machete. The clown ran back into the woods and disappeared from view.”

Officers searched the area for the dressed-up individual but were unable to find anyone matching that description.

Local police warned residents “although it is lawful to dress as a clown, given the heightened tensions about these entertainers, officials are discouraging ‘copycat’ behavior by individuals who may find it humorous to mimic suspicious behavior.”

A call came into the Fayetteville, N.C.,Police Department at around 10:00 Tuesday night with a complaint of a clown sighting in a wooded area in town. The police investigated but couldn't find the culprit. "It's unconfirmed. We can't say if there was or was not a clown," said Officer Shawn Strepay.