If you've heard about the creepy clown sightings that have been popping up all around the country, you know they're giving all the real clowns a bad rep.
"Simply seeing a clown doesn't necessarily require a call to police", said Sgt. Paul Parizek, spokesman for the Des Moines Police Department. They say a Quentin Hunt resident reported seeing a man dressed in a clown costume walking in the middle of Riders Way. Then more calls came in for a reported clown in the 1400 block of South Peoria Avenue.
If the person in costume is displaying any sort of suspicious behavior or displaying a risky weapon - call police. "If people are scared we have to back off from them", Cannon said.
"Creepy clowns" have been in the national news a lot lately, with reports from towns throughout the country. While some incidents across the nation have become violent, that hasn't been the case in our area.
Central Bucks Regional police said in a Facebook post that the threat doesn't appear to be credible. Although there is little evidence that clowns are stealing children or planning attacks, clowns (or at least clown images and paraphernalia) have been associated with a recent rash of mischief and violent threats. "It's something that somebody thinks is fun or amusing that they saw, that they picked up on and they just want to walk around and get attention I guess".
The White House weighed in on the phenomenon this week saying the sinister sightings that have led to about a dozen arrests should be taken seriously and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security had been consulted on how to handle the scare. "Manassas City Police has not discovered any evidence to suggest a plausible threat to the public".
"Unfortunately, people are using social media as an opportunity to involve themselves in mischief that may alarm others", said a press release Sweeney wrote. Rockford schools are taking the threats seriously and have increased staff and security for students.
Who's to say where the creepy clown reports and panic will go from here?
"There could be a variety of charges to look at by obviously one of the possibilities is terroristic threats", said Mike Glassberg, Hopkins police public information officer.