Teens accused of terrorizing people with creepy clown costumes acquitted

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 19:20:24-04

Not even 30 minutes after Elandra Sledge and her friend, Jaime Salinis, purchased and put on their creepy clown costumes were the two teenagers being arrested by Roseville Police, accused of terrorizing another teenager and her mother just minutes earlier.

"I was terrified. I started crying," said Salinis who was 18-years-old in October when she and her best friend found themselves being hauled off to jail and charged with disorderly conduct.

Sledge was 17. And the two teens were walking through a neighborhood to get to a friend's house to play a prank, but they never made it there.

Another teenager and her mother went to police after seeing the creepy clown duo, and when police went to look for them, Sledge and Salinis were running.

The teens and their attorney say they were running because a man on a motorcycle had begun to follow them. That man can even be seen on police dash cam video seconds after police stop their scout car to arrest the teens.

"I didn't think they would actually take us to jail, but we didn't even get a chance to explain ourselves," said Salinis.

But after a night in jail, the two teenagers found themselves in court, facing a judge and news cameras.

And they say it didn't take long for the death threats to start and their young reputations dragged all over social media.

"I was terrified," said Sledge. "I did a lot of growing up in the last 8 months."

The teens were offered a plea deals, but declined them.

"My clients didn't do anything wrong," said attorney William Swor who represented both Salinis and Sledge.

"The City of Roseville decided that it was going to the mat to protect its citizens against all dangers, real and imagined," said Swor.

And, recently, a jury acquitted both teens.

According to Swor, the teenagers never left the sidewalk, never made any scary noises, never made threatening gestures and, on the witness stand, the alleged victims admitted that they didn't have any real fear.

When this happened last fall, people across the country were on edge because of so many people wearing clown and creepy clown costumes, including criminals to disguise their identity.

The following can be heard on police video, moments after officers stopped the Sledge and Salinis.

"You know what's going on. That's why you're in the costumes. Don't lie to us. We're not stupid. You guys are adults. You know you'll be going to jail for the night. You ran from us, you know that right?"

Sledge and Salinis are both continuing to work and attend college as full-time students.

Sledge is studying to become an athletic trainer. Salinis is studying to become a nurse.

And, no, they don't plan on wearing a clown costume ever again.

Click on the video to hear more from the teens and their attorney.