From the Archives: Clown Threats Are No Joke
Published on September 07, 2017
Story originally published on 9/27/16.
GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – So you’ve heard the latest trend sweeping the country: Clowns terrorizing neighborhoods, schools, parks, you name it. We can see it now: “Clown Stuck in Sewer Grate While Terrorizing Georgie Street” – yes, Pennywise still haunts our dreams.
Let’s face it, Hollywood has ruined the happy-go-lucky Clown for many: Poltergeist, Saw, Twisty…even the 1980’s horror comedy Killer Klowns from Outer Space. We see now why McDonald's has slowly distanced itself from Ronald McDonald.
But now it seems these scary clowns are horrifying more than just our dreams. They’re disrupting our normal lives. Sinister clowns are plaguing the country. In Greenville, S.C., clowns were attempting to lure children into the woods.
In Alabama, seven clowns are now facing felony charges for making terroristic clown threats. In North Carolina, one clown wielded a machete while walking through the woods near an apartment complex. It’s no joke.
All these instances lead us to Greeley, where school officials and law enforcement worked overnight to put clown threats to rest.
It started on Facebook. Greeley Police say the post threatened a shooting on Halloween night. It quickly turned into a viral event, claiming clowns would carry out shootings at two Greeley schools. The case is still under investigation, but police think they’ve pinned it down to a 15-year-old student.
“Parents, please talk to your teenagers about this problem,” urged Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke. “They must realize this isn’t a harmless joke. This ‘joke’ heightened fears in students, parents and school officials. We won’t tolerate people terrorizing our community, and we will charge them where we see fit.”
And it’s not just teenagers. Adults are not immune. If you’re caught making this type of threat, you could be charged with Interference with Staff, Faculty or Students of Educational Institutions – a crime that carries up to 18 months in jail. Then we’ll see who is laughing.