UPDATE 13:10 Friday: Reading schools are closed on Friday after a woman reported being attacked by a man dressed as a clown. The woman told police her attacker made a threat against students.
No arrests have been made in the attack and schools were closed by the concern of students walking to school early, according to the school district of the Community of reading.
Mount Notre Dame High School also closed on Friday. Although no threat was made on Mount Notre Dame school in block Avenue east of Columbia 700 shares a parking lot with reading high school, located in the 800 block street.
Reading police, he said Kim Youngblood was smoking a cigarette on his porch in the South Terrace Apartments when it appeared the clown.
“I thought it was just a person that came up behind and grabbed me around the neck, and it turned out to be a person dressing as a clown,” Youngblood told 911 dispatchers. “And the person was making threats against the Reading School District, and making threats against me telling me that he was going to kill me.”
Youngblood told police the male fled after an alarm went off in a nearby apartment. The male grabbed Youngblood’s throat harder for a second before fleeing, police stated in the release.
“He said that there were going to be teachers and students who were going to be sorry that they were ever born,” Youngblood said.
Colerain Township arrested a juvenile in connection with a clown threat in the area late Thursday.
Police said the suspect threatened to harm students at Colerain High School on Friday.
“This suspect used the current “clown” trend to further terrorize parents and students and has been charged with Making Terrorist Threats and Inducing Panic,” police said in a Facebook post.
Both of these charges are felonies. Police did not reveal the name or age of the suspect.
Earlier in the day, police said posts on Twitter from an account called the Clown-Clan was causing “annoyance and alarm to communities.”
It is not clear if the arrest was connected to those tweets.
Tweets from that account have mentioned several Greater Cincinnati communities and schools.
EARLIER STORY: A clown apparently made an appearance in the wooded area of the Sharonville Elementary school on Thursday, police said in a Facebook post.
Sharonville police said the person was described as “wearing gloves and large shoes; there was no mention of makeup, wig or anything else typical of a clown costume.”
Officers are patrolling the area, but have found no evidence to indicate anyone was doing anything menacing in or around the school, police said.
Police suggested those with more information or who have seen something suspicious to contact police.
“Also, please remember that simply dressing as a clown is not illegal,” police said. “Menacing actions are what is concerning, not someone’s appearance.”
This so-called “creepy clown” phenomenon — people dressed as clowns intimidating strangers — has swept across 12 states and seems to have arrived in the Tristate.
Aside from the recent potential sighting in Sharonville, Franklin Police also received a phone call from a woman claiming to have been chased by a subject dressed as a clown, police said in a Wednesday news release.
However, police said the call was to the police department’s regular line, not an emergency call.
In the call, the woman said she just got off work and was chased up to her apartment door by the clown.
Franklin Police said they would like to “discourage people from frightening strangers whom they do not know” and that “this is childish and could be dangerous” for those involved.
According to USA TODAY, clowns have been spotted in Wisconsin, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Virginia, Florida, Maryland and Tennessee, with the Tristate adding Kentucky and Ohio.
Collin Climer, the principal at Colerain Elementary School sent an email to parents Thursday about the “Clown Clan.”
That clan, Climer said, originated from social media posts, apparently talking about being at the Colerain High School football game Friday night.
“We are aware of the social media posts and the high school is working closely with the local police departments to add extra security for the game,” Climer said. “The clowns in other states and locally have been walking up to strangers making them feel uncomfortable.”
Fairfield City Schools put out a news release late Thursday night about the clown issue on its Facebook page.
“We are writing to inform you that we received a communication from a clown group via social media, specifically addressing the Intermediate School, Middle School, Central Elementary, and East Elementary,” the release said. “This communication reference a ‘visit.’”
The release said the schools have been in contact with the Fairfield City and Township police departments.
Even though the school administrators said they don’t perceive this as a threat, “we believe you should know they have contacted us,” the release said.
On Tuesday, Gallatin County Schools in Northern Kentucky had heightened security after a “vague threat of violence.”
The threat stemmed from Facebook conversation screenshots with individuals dressed as clowns in their profile pictures.
Sheriff Josh Neale of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said they were consulting with the FBI and Homeland Security to uncover who was behind the posts.
On Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Office posted in a Facebook post that a juvenile from Carrollton had been identified as allegedly sending the threatening messages.
“There is still a lot of work to do in order to complete this investigation,” police said. “Several agencies helped with the extra security at our schools and I want to thank everyone for their help.”
Gallatin County Schools posted on their Facebook about the identification as well.
“Such an incident is always alarming and it is important for our students, staff and parents to understand that we take this seriously and the sheriff’s department will pursue criminal charges to the fullest extent,” the post said.
No clowns have been caught and/or charged with anything so far in these other instances, according to USA TODAY.