Police Chief On Clown Sightings: ‘The Clowning Around Needs To Stop’
Creepy clowns are causing unrest in the community of Greenville in South Carolina, as numerous reports of clown sightings have cropped up in the small town for the past couple of weeks, as reported by CBS News.
Police in northern South Carolina are investigating the incidents but so far have come up with nothing. Despite coming up empty-handed, the police are taking the reports seriously as they recently increased patrols in the small town.
Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Master Deputy Ryan Flood urged the public to remain vigilant and to call 911 “if you see anything suspicious, anyone dressed up in a clown costume.” He also urged anyone who may spot creepy clowns in the future to take photos or record video footage and then turn them over to the police.
No conclusive photo or video evidence has emerged and no suspects have been identified in any of the reported incidents, according to the investigators.
“The clowning around needs to stop,” said Greenville police chief Ken Miller during a press conference Thursday. “It’s illegal, it’s dangerous, it’s inappropriate, it’s creating community concern.”
The first clown sighting was reported on August 21, when a Greenville citizen spotted a “suspicious character dressed in circus clown attire and white face paint, enticing kids to follow him/her into the woods.”
A woman complainant told a deputy that her son had “seen clowns in the woods whispering and making strange noises,” according to an incident report.
According to the complainant, her son guided her to where he supposedly spotted the clowns, and there she saw them “flashing green laser lights” before they ran away into the woods. At around 10:30 pm the following night, the woman said that her eldest son heard “chains and banging” at their front door.
The following day, at around 2:30 am, another unnamed resident reported a scary clown incident, claiming she saw a “large-figured clown with a blinking nose” standing under a post light near the garbage dumpster area. The clown waved at her so she waved back, she said.
As part of their investigations on the mysterious clown incidents, the police interviewed children who claimed they saw clowns trying “to persuade them into the woods further by displaying large amounts of money.”
Sightings of clowns allegedly trying to lure children into woods prompt investigation in Greenville, South Carolina. https://t.co/dAILKJrseP
— ABC News (@ABC) August 30, 2016
The children said they believe that the clowns lived in “a house located near a pond at the end of a man-made trail in the woods,” as stated in the police report.
The police located the house but found it abandoned, with no evidence such as clothing, footprints, or surveillance video proving that anyone had occupied it.
In a most recent report, a woman said that she was doing her laundry Wednesday evening when she saw a clown standing outside her apartment home. The clown was wearing a white swimmer’s cap with neon or red hair jutting out of both sides, a white face paint with a black line starting from his eyebrows and ending at his upper lip, as reported by WSPA. The clown was wearing a gray love sleeve shirt, a pair of white gloves, and “balloon pants.” The clown didn’t come near her, but she alerted her apartment manager.
Clowns. Pennywise. IT. Stephen King. pic.twitter.com/mxxOooKNM2
— Dee (blue m&m)?eras tour las vegas (@MissCWilshire) September 1, 2016
Miller said that the police department are investigating whether the clown sightings were perpetrated by one or two people, or a group of pranksters “doing it either for fun or for gags or kicks.” He warned that anyone dressing up as a clown to strike fear into the community will be liable for prosecution under a city disturbance ordinance.
“We want to encourage anyone who may be inclined to dress in clown outfits, not to do it,” Miller said.
Meanwhile, Officer Gilberto Franco urged parents Wednesday to be extra cautious until the mysterious clown sightings are resolved.
“We want to make sure parents are still remain vigilant and to make sure you keep track of your children playing, don’t leave them playing isolated.”
[Photo by ThinkStock]