Fort Oglethorpe police have received complaints in the past two days of suspicious people dressed as clowns frightening area residents.
Similar to what has reportedly taken place in North and South Carolina in recent weeks, residents have called the city’s Police Department after seeing “suspicious” clowns lurking in the Cloud Springs Road area.
“We had a call yesterday at a complex on Cloud Springs Road, and then we had another call this morning at the Battlewood Apartments on Fant Drive,” police Lt. Steve Blevins said Tuesday, Sept. 20. “Yesterday was the first report, but now there are multiple.”
The first incident involved a “creepy clown” chasing a couple of kids from a store parking lot back to their home, reports show.
“According to the complainant, a person dressed as a creepy clown and wielding what appeared to be a knife, allegedly chased her 17-year-old daughter and 11-year-old niece from the lot of the Mapco convenience store back to their Fernwood Drive apartment,” officer Mitchell Moore said.
One of the victims recorded a Snapchat video of the clown from inside the apartment following the incident.
“There appears to be a knife in his hand,” Blevins said. “We don’t know if it’s a real knife or a rubber or fake one used during Halloween.”
Blevins says the department is trying to nip the issue in the bud given the craze that has followed such incidents in other states.
“Things like this are already out there on the national news and on social media, so we surely don’t want the public to think we’re trying to conceal these types of things,” Blevins said. “Some people might not take it too serious, but we do. If you’re out terrorizing people you’re going to go to jail. Also, any individual responsible for falsely reporting a ‘sighting’ will also be prosecuted criminally.”
Although Halloween is a little more than a month away, Blevins reiterated that pranking or scaring residents won’t be tolerated.
“Concealing your identity with a mask isn’t okay except for one day of the year and that’s Halloween,” Blevins said. “We don’t want people out there terrorizing, threatening, or endangering our residents.”