Teens charged in connection with ‘creepy clown’ threats in Prospect, Ansonia, other towns
Wednesday afternoon, Connecticut State Police said a 13-year-old male student from Beacon Falls was charged with disorderly conduct after an investigation into threats made on Instagram towards schools in Beacon Falls. New Haven, Prospect and Waterbury.
Wednesday morning, around 9 a.m. Ansonia police investigated a threat against Emmett O’Brien Technical High School. Administrators notified an officer at the school that students complained about another student posting a threat to have clowns come to school and shoot people, police said in a statement. A 16-year-old girl was charged with threatening and breach of peace.
Police in Simsbury said the source of the hoaxes in that town has been identified and the juvenile and family are cooperating with police and school officials. No charges have yet been filed.
On Tuesday, October 4, police investigated separate threatening social media posts directed at the Ansonia School System. As a result of the investigation, two suspects were identified and taken into custody, police announced Wednesday morning. The two 13-year-old girls were charged with threatening, breach of peace, and conspiracy to commit threatening and breach of peace. The suspects were referred to Juvenile Court.
“The Ansonia Police Department is encouraging all parents to take an active role in monitoring what online sites their children are using and what they are posting online,” officers said in a statement.
Ansonia police had an increased police presence at all schools Wednesday as a precaution even thought they “do not believe the threats to be credible.”
Meanwhile, the Naugatuck Police Department said they arrested two juvenile females under the age of 14, one living in Naugatuck and the other from Stratford, in regard to the “creepy clown” social media postings that were made Monday.
Both were charged with disorderly conduct and conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct. The suspects in Ansonia’s arrests are not the same juveniles arrested in Naugatuck, police said.
In Berlin, a note went home to parents Wednesday after a student brought a clown suit and wig to McGee Middle School. Staff members reported the student and they were referred to school administration.
In Rocky Hill, police were called when social media comments said clowns were entering and exiting a van parked on Boulder Driver Tuesday night. Police said the information was false and appears to be a prank.
The Cheshire Police Department is also investigating social media threats of the creepy clown at schools and said residents can expect an increased police presence at schools in that community.
The Simsbury Police Department released the following statement on their Facebook page Tuesday night:
Many schools in communities across the state and country are experiencing threats through social media involving clowns. The social media posts refer to a serial killer clown who killed children in the 1960s… Social media posts surfaced today about clowns arriving at the Simsbury High School on Wednesday. The Police Department and Public Schools are aware of the posts. Although the threats are not considered credible, the posts are taken very seriously and will be investigated thoroughly by the Police Department. There will be an increase in police presence at the schools and heightened awareness by police and school personnel. If you have any information about the posts, please contact Simsbury Police Detectives at (860) 658-3145.
And, Salvatore F. Menzo, superintendent of Wallingford Public Schools sent a letter to parents on Tuesday night:
It has come to our attention that an Instagram message was sent stating, “Lyman Hall better watch out” from newhaven.clown. We were in immediate contact with the Wallingford Chief of Police. As a result, there will be a police presence at Lyman Hall High School tomorrow. Please be assured that we take the safety and security of our students and staff very seriously. We will continue to monitor the situation and work collaboratively with the local authorities. We appreciate your support.
Wallingford Police said there was chatter on Instagram but no direct threat made. Lyman Hall was mentioned and police will have a presence to put everyone’s mind at ease.
The proliferation of creepy clown-related social media posts, and unsubstantiated sightings, also has officials in New Haven concerned.
Tuesday afternoon, outgoing Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries, and Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department, addressed two Instagram posts over the weekend threatening New Haven schools.
Law enforcement officials said hoaxes involving reports of menacing clowns are causing real public safety concerns. Authorities have been forced to respond to incidents such as one Monday at the University of Connecticut, where hundreds of students gathered around midnight with golf clubs and hockey sticks. They were ready to do battle with clowns they had heard might be lurking in a nearby cemetery.