The recent spate of reports of people intimidatingly dressed as clowns reared its makeup-laden head on or near several school campuses in multiple states, putting them on alert Friday, according to multiple reports. Reports have recently surfaced around the country of people dressed in clown outfits lurking in the woods.
In one instance Friday, an entire school system was closed. However, in each case, the schools were reacting out of an abundance of caution, not any tangible proof of clowns menacing people nearby.
Pasco County Schools in Florida issued a "Creepy Clown" campus alert after a twitter user "posted a threat about high schools," according to a statement released late Friday morning on the school district's Facebook page. "We have no reason to believe it is credible or that any of our schools are in danger. However, we are not summarily dismissing it and the sheriff’s office is investigating."
An entire school system in southern Ohio closed Friday because a woman reported being attacked by a man wearing a clown outfit and makeup who subsequently threatened students in the Reading Community City School District near Cincinnati, the local CBS affiliate 10NEWS reported. A nearby high school not in the school district also closed after learning of the reports.
Kim Youngwood told reading police the clown appeared suddenly before telling her, "I should just kill you now" and that "some students and teachers would wish they were never born at the Jr. and Sr. High School today."
No arrests were made in that case.
Though unconfirmed, other similar reports emerged on social media, including one from a man identifying himself as a student at the University of Delaware in the city of Newark.
Once seemingly relegated to parts of the south, the clown sightings reports have since spread north, including this week's instance in Long Island, New York. No, not at Monday night's presidential debate, but in the towns of North Babylon and Brentwood Wednesday night, Newsday reported.
Again, like many of the previous instances, they were only reports, something the local police department wanted to stress to the community.
“While the motives of these individuals could not be determined, the department reminds the public false reporting and intentional harassment or disturbing of the peace can lead to legal consequences,” Suffolk County police said in a statement.