Local Police Investigating ‘Clown’ Reports
By Teresa Holloway
Messenger Reporter
HOUSTON, ANDERSON – Eerie clowns displaying ominous behavior have been reported in the two counties recently.
The Westwood area of Palestine has reported sightings. Not very far away, Crockett cancelled a sports event because creepy clowns were spotted nearby, according to one local parent. Lovelady ISD and Grapeland have been subject to the decidedly unfunny pranksters.
These may be high-tech clowns who are Facebook savvy as several threatening posts involving clowns have been shared on social media, according to Palestine officials. Local police departments are paying close attention.
In the US, the first reports came in from South Carolina. Creepy clowns were reportedly trying to lure children into the woods with money. Thankfully, there were no takers.
Small wonder, though, across the nation more than three of the pranksters have been shot.
From South Carolina, the eerie clown threat moved to North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Alabama, Maryland and Kentucky – now they’ve been spotted in Palestine.
The observed behavior varies. Reports from across the US have these painted pranksters waving at people from darkened woods, attempting to lure passers-by into the woods or into cars or simply lurking around, watching homes and activities from some distant area.
Most have proven harmless pranks to date and no violence has been reported from the clowns, but the PPD chose to err on the side of protection and assured the public it is taking the threat seriously.
“Activities and threats of this nature are taken very seriously, as such patrol presence has been increased in the affected areas,” from the press release this week.
Palestine Police are also asking citizens to be mindful of what they post on social media. Posting hoax photographs and messages only adds to the confusion and concern, officials said.
Wearing a clown costume is not illegal but posting social media threats, trespassing or making physical threats is a crime.
Officials urged the public to report suspicious behavior. TIP411 is one anonymous method of relaying information to the police, as is texting PALPD with the info.
Houston County residents should contact their appropriate law enforcement service by phone. “Most of these clowns are a hoax,” Houston County Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt said. “But when you frighten someone, the potential to get hurt is there.”
terholloway@hotmail.com