NAUGATUCK — Police in Naugatuck are on alert investigating intimidating social media posts that mention clowns and specifically Naugatuck schools.
An Instagram account @jackson_the_clown wrote “will be in Naugatuck – Be careful – lock your doors – Which school wanna go first?” Another account wrote “Naugatuck is our favorite place to be.
Police said the posts contained information that they don’t believe to be credible, but they are thoroughly investigating the posts and anyone connected to them. Police said as a precautionary measure there will be added security at all Naugatuck schools on Tuesday.
Clown-themed news stories have been trending throughout the country since clowns were reported to be luring kids into the woods in South Carolina in late August.
Monday night, clown hysteria appeared to reach a boiling point. A top New York City Police Department official said clown threats are harmless and people should not believe the “hype.”
New Haven Public Schools are working with police to investigate the authenticity of a number of clown-related Instagram posts that have been brought to their attention in the Elm City.
The account @newhavenclown posted messages like: “If you go to Career watch out,” and “u really think it’s fake, wait and see.”
New Haven school officials released the following statement on Monday night:
At this time there is no indication this incident poses any real or substantial threat to New Haven Public Schools or Students. We do however take these incidents very seriously; In light of this incident, we will continue to monitor the situation throughout the week and take all necessary precautions to ensure student and staff safety in all our schools.
Until additional information is available, New Haven Public Schools Director of Security Thaddeus Reddish asks that principals and building leaders prohibit clown costumes and any symbols of terror during this Halloween season. To ensure student safety, parents are encouraged to assist in ensuring students refrain from these costumes this season.
UConn also responded to clown-themed rumors Monday night. "Campus is locked down right now. Cops are everywhere." one student tweeted. But school officials said that was not the case.
"Reports of a clown on campus were false. There has been no confirmed clown sighting. No arrests have been made. It was a rumor that spread over social media. Everyone is back in their dorms now. The campus is NOT in lockdown," UConn police said in a statement early Tuesday morning.
At Quinnipiac University in Hamden many students tweeted they were on lockdown because of a clown on the loose. But, school officials tweeted "The University is secure and is NOT in lockdown. All campus operations are running normally."