Scary clowns showing up on the side of the road are no joke, according to deputies with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.
There have been several complaints about people dressed up as clowns and armed with various weapons. The most recent incident happened in Mt. Hope on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Investigators said the intent of these “scary clowns” is to frighten as many people as possible.
“Many people have a phobia about clowns, and meeting an armed “clown” in a dark, unlit area can definitely be cause for an individual to fear for his or her safety,” said Sheriff Steve Kessler. “Many of our citizens carry concealed handguns and if one of these “clowns” frightens an armed individual the results could be tragic.”
Fayette County Prosecutor Larry Harrah said dressing up like this is illegal under the West Virginia Code Chapter 61-6-22. That prohibits the wearing of any type of mask in public, with only limited exceptions. Chapter 61-7-11 covers the carrying the a dangerous or deadly weapons. In addition, the actions by these people dressed up as clowns creates a danger to the public by wasting the time of law enforcement officers who could be spending their time investigating real crimes.
“Grown men should have the common sense to refrain from such juvenile behavior,” added Sheriff Kessler. “It’s time for this joke to end. If individuals persist in this conduct then we will begin making arrests and see show well these “scary clowns” like spending time in the Southern Regional Jail.”