Police: No clowns in ‘O’ towns; Ogden, Orem sound all clear after clown rumor prompts school lockdowns

The Orem Police Department is trying to make its followers laugh at the thought of scary clowns. The post did draw at least one comment about what the images says about the usual driver of the "clown car." Photo: Orem Police Department Facebook page.

OGDEN, Utah, Oct. 3, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Two schools in Ogden were placed on lockout Monday as a precaution after a Facebook post referenced a scary clown and threats to the schools.

Several community members saw the post, and alerted the Ogden Police Department.

OPD officials reported on the department Facebook page that no sightings could be confirmed at the schools, and the threatening Facebook page later was disabled by its owner. The clown image used also was one that is readily available on the Internet, the OPD post noted.

The lockouts on Gramercy Elementary School and Mound Fort Junior High were lifted after officials could find no evidence of a threat.

Ogden Police Facebook page

Meanwhile, about 66 miles to the south, Orem police on Monday were dealing with some of the same public fears.

Orem police decided to have a little more fun on their Facebook page.

According to Heavy.com, a news Website based in New York City, the “scary clown” phenomenon has affected at least 28 other states:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Police are finding some reports of scary clown sightings are real, and the people dressed as clowns were pranksters. In several cases, arrests have been made after people who dressed as clowns did harm people, or intend to, or were found to be disturbing the peace.

But the phenomenon seems to be far more active on social media than in real life. An 11-year-old girl in Athens, Ga., reportedly was taken into custody after bringing a knife to school because social media reports convinced her creepy clowns were a real threat.

Since the surge of scary clowns began in August, multiple police departments across the country, including Georgia’s LaGrange Police, have warned potential “clowns” that although their prankish threats might not be real, criminal charges would be.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Just about an hour ago, I saw a clown dressed in white at the park by my house around 2 am in Lehi while driving home! My heart is still pounding.. We reported our sighting to the police and hopefully that person was found.. Even if these clowns are doing it as a “prank”, as a mother of two children, I am not laughing. Inducing fear in communities isn’t right and I don’t feel safe even in my own neighborhood anymore.

  2. these pranksters are idiots if I see a scary clown anywhere near my neighborhood… let’s just say that they won’t have to worry about police, paramedics maybe, if they are lucky.

  3. Last week, I was confronted by a creepy clown as I drove down my block in Sugarhouse. The clown was walking in the street, holding a metal baseball bat overhead, as I turn around the corner setting up a near head-on confrontation. I had my driver’s side window all the way down and my arm resting half in/half out when I drove up to where he was standing. We came to within about ten feet from each other, staring at each other as I continued driving by. My thinking at that time was that if the clown closed the distance between us and/or made a more threatening gesture than just holding the bat overhead, I might unload the can of personal defense pepper spray I keep handy in my vehicle.

    I know I’m asking you to speculate, but what do you think the chances would be that had my situation escalated as I described my behavior would be considered reasonable and not illegal?

    Thanks and keep getting ’em Gephardt!

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