Southgate Police investigate numerous clown complaints

Posted at 6:58 PM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 20:43:07-04

Southgate Police found themselves investigating numerous complaints involving clowns this week.

The first came after a child posted a threat on a new Instagram account. It said that the “Clowns of Southgate” would be at Davidson Middle School. 

It said, “It will hurt for a second.”

It caused enough fear that some parents kept their children home from school.

“I would rather keep her home and know she is okay, than what if??” said Chanelle McCoy.

"We did an investigation and found that post was a hoax,” said Chief Jeffrey Smith of the Southgate Police Department.

Police tracked down the child who posted the first clown threat. He lives outside the district.

He reposted an online threat he saw after changing the name of the school. Police say other students copied his actions, reposting threats. 

They warn even a repost can be criminal.

“It is not safe. It is not smart and it could get you charged,” said Chief Smith.

Southgate Community Schools Superintendent Leslie Hainrihar is asking parents to monitor their children’s activity on social media and talk to their children about the seriousness of these posts.

She says the district is thankful to parents and students who voiced concerns about posts so they could be investigated.

“This has been a huge distraction at Davidson Middle School for students. I am hoping we can get back to focusing on education. I ask parents to keep an eye on their children’s posts on social media and continue to report any concerns,” said Hainrihar.

As police investigated this threat, one Southgate woman says two clowns terrified her. It happened only a few blocks from the school.  

She was trying to get out of her car with her 3-year-old and 1-year-old child when the clowns drove by slowly, close to her, and appeared to try to intimidate her. 

She locked her children back in her car, then the clowns drove off. She called police.

“This isn’t funny. They need to be careful. Someone is going to be armed,” said Lindsay Shear.

Southgate Police say a short time later they found the two clowns and pulled them over. 

They were two girls who had just bought their Halloween costumes and decided to prank people. Police requested they remove their masks because of numerous complaints and they agreed.