A recent eruption of creepy clown sightings has made its way into LaGrange, Georgia, on Tuesday, a mid-sized town around 85 miles north of Atlanta. Although there’s no reported injuries, police are taking their presence seriously.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the LaGrange Police Department took to Facebook to deliver a message to the creepy clowns who chose the relatively quiet college town to scare people: “It’s not cute or funny.” According to the Facebook post,
“This behavior is not cute or funny. Understand that if officers see this behavior, you’re going to have a conversation with them. And, if applicable, you may face criminal charges.”
The clowns apparently targeted children who were waiting on the bus to take them school on early Tuesday morning. According to the kids, a group of clowns walked out of a nearby abandoned house or a nearby shrub and started chasing them. Adults who also saw the clowns corroborated the story. The children, although extremely shaken, ran to safety without any physical injuries.
Meanwhile, around 150 miles away in Dublin, Georgia, a different clown allegedly jumped out in front of a motorist on September 9, causing the driver to swerve off-road. According to Dublin Police Chief Tim Chatman,
“No one saw a clown at the time of the accident. It was a family member that reported it several hours later — that it was the reason why this accident occurred; because someone was in the road dressed like a clown.”
Yet, Dublin resident Michaela Brooks confirmed to police that she saw clowns in the area as well, during an unrelated incident on September 8, when a car full of clowns pulled up behind her and her sister.
“A car came up behind us and parked. I didn’t think much of it, until my sister started freaking out, and she told me they were dressed as clowns. We could only see part of them because they were parked to the back of us… you could see the big hair.”
In August, a group of creepy clowns were accused of trying to lure young children from a Greenville, South Carolina, apartment complex into the woods. The kids told police that the “scary clowns” enticed them with candy and money. Fortunately, the children ran away and no one was physically injured.
In another incident in Greensboro, North Carolina, a man took matters into his own hands after a clown with a red wig, red clowns shoes, and yellow polka-dotted shirt jumped out at a crowd of people. The man grabbed a machete and chased the clown into the woods before calling the police.
Police in 2 states continue to investigate reports of creepy clowns. Professional clowns aren't pleased. https://t.co/rztgPJy3B1— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 11, 2016
The creepy clowns also appeared in Columbus, Ohio, where a male clown, carrying a knife, chased a 14-year-old boy down the street. NBC News reports that according to the victim, a man dressed in black and wearing a clown mask approached him while he was walking to his bus stop. The boy hurled a rock at the clown and began running away. Columbus police spokeswoman Denise Alex-Bouzounis stated,
“We don’t know whether this was a prank or not, but we are taking it seriously.”
Although it isn’t illegal to dress up as a clown in most states, it’s against the law to lure minors away, to terrorize people, or to chase anyone with a knife. In South Carolina, however, state law prohibits anyone over the age of 16 from appearing in public while wearing a mask or anything else that conceals identity. The only exception is if someone must dress up in a mask for legal, work-related purposes, such working at a child’s birthday party or at an amusement park.
So far, no one has submitted any photos of the creepy clowns to police. However, South Carolina police spokesman Gilberto Franco urges people to take photos, if possible, as long as they don’t feel like they’re in danger, and to call 911 immediately.
“If there are sightings, take a photo, note person and vehicle descriptions, pay attention to direction of travel, and immediately call 911.”
[Featured Image by Jeff Cameron Collingwood/Shutterstock]