This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Coulrophobia 2016: Two 'Clowns' Arrested For Allegedly Making Threats
Welcome to Coulrophobia 2016. On the heels of the first reported clown sightings in Southern California since 2014 comes two clown arrests. William Salazar, 19, was arrested on suspicion of criminal threats by Glendora Police after setting up Facebook and Instagram profiles in the name of a clown named Clowner Hoe, KTLA reports.
According to SGV CityWatch, several parents of students at Sierra High School had expressed concern about threatening posts on the clown's social media pages, leading the principal to alert police at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday. One student pointed the finger at Salazar, a former student at the school, and detectives visited the teen's home.
“He made an admission that he created not only created an Instagram site but a Facebook site, but that he was only joking,” Glendora Police Chief Tim Stabb said.
Both profiles have since been removed.
A 14-year-old boy was also arrested on the same allegation. He is accused of being the “Fontana Killer Clown” on various social media platforms, and is currently in custody at San Bernardino Juvenile Hall. Police say he said his intention was only to scare people and to see how many followers he could get.
An Instagram account known as @wearecomingtoCali has continued to post Southern California landmarks where clowns are supposedly planning to haunt. The account also claims that most of the clowns are waiting for Halloween proper to really get weird.
Now everyone (who has ever watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer) knows that real monsters take Halloween off, but given that these folks all seem to be bored teenagers, I suppose Halloween is probably a good time to be creepy.
Most of the clown sightings across the country have been essentially harmless aside from a few folks getting the kind of cheap thrills any generic haunted house boasts without having to buy a ticket. However, there have been a few particularly harrowing ones. In the Bay Area, Concord police say a mother reported a man in a clown suit trying to grab her 1-year-daughter at a bus stop. Tiffany Martin, 24, said the clown, clad in a rainbow polka dot clown suit and a blue wig, was friendly at first.
"The clown comes up and sits down, all friendly and smiling," Martin said. "I pay no mind to it until I realized he snatched my daughter’s arm. He pulls her arm, and I kicked him in the private parts."
She said the clown that ran away.
In Sterling Heights, Michigan, a boy claimed a clown injured him when he pressed a knife against his arm. A pair of Sterling Heights women said they spotted three clowns wielding a baseball bat, prompting the women to flee. An 11-year-old Michigan girl was arrested for bringing a knife to school, which she said was to defend herself and her family from the clowns.
Even the White House has weighed in on this clown thing. On Tuesday, Press Secretary John Earnest said, "Obviously this is a situation that local law enforcement authorities take quite seriously. And they should carefully and thoroughly review perceived threats to the safety of the community."
Stephen King, who is probably the reason so many people are afraid of clowns in the first place, says people should probably chill out.
Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria--most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 3, 2016
I reached out to Psychopathic Records in Farmington Hills, Michigan to see if insane clowns Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope had anything to say about this. I was directed to their social media posts, in which the duo will only call the clown sightings "a giant hoax." Fair enough. They've made a living off of being wicked clowns since 1989. Why would they want to be upstaged by some inferior poser clowns?
Meanwhile, real clowns are mad about all this malarkey, claiming that they're being harassed and losing business, and some have even put together an utterly tone deaf movement called "Clown Lives Matter." They are apparently having a march on October 15 in Tucson, Arizona. ABC 15 reports that guests are invited to show up in clown makeup. Event organizers state that "this is a peaceful way to show clowns are not psycho killers."
Southern California's Snow-Capped Mountains Are Beautiful. Here's Where To Maximize The View (And Snap A Great Picture)It's been many, many years since we saw this much snow in our mountains. Going up there right now isn't safe, but here are some places where you can enjoy the view and snap a pic.
April Valentine died at Centinela Hospital. Her daughter was born by emergency C-section. She'd gone into the pregnancy with a plan, knowing Black mothers like herself were at higher risk.
A look at years past when snows creeped into our citified neighborhoods, away from the mountains and foothills.
In the face of a drier future, that iconic piece of Americana is on its way out in Southern California.
Another Missing Hiker Has Been Found Dead In San Gabriels As Search For Actor Julian Sands ContinuesBob Gregory, 62, went missing the same day as Sands. His body was recovered near Mount Islip.