Michigan State Police give advice on "creepy clown craze"

Posted at 8:21 AM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 08:21:18-04

They're showing up everywhere, scaring people on the streets, even hanging on the back of a bus in Detroit - people dressed like clowns.

"If you see someone that's dressed in a costume that's not fitting for the environment that you're in, I would consider it to be somewhat of a suspicious situation," First Lieutenant Joseph Thomas with the Michigan State Police Lansing Post said. Just wearing a disguise can scare other people, he said, because they don't know anything about the person under the mask.

"If this is a situation where people know clowns are doing dangerous things, probably a clown costume would not be the best thing to wear this year," Thomas said, though he says he can't tell anyone not to wear one. If your costume has a weapon, Thomas says don't point it at anyone, or better yet, choose a costume that doesn't have one.

"If they have a weapon, I would suggest that they don't use that weapon in a way that would cause someone else to feel fear," Thomas said.

Let law enforcement know if you see someone dressed as a clown in an unusual place, like outside of a party or masquerade, and it makes you feel uncomfortable.

Northwest Schools Superintendent Jeff Bontrager says that's good advice to give to kids as well. "Whether somebody is dressed as a clown, they're not dressed as a clown, if they're inappropriate with you as a child, then please report that or go to that safe spot, and we'll take care of that," Bontrager said.

Whether someone is dressed up or not, he said, if they commit a crime, there are consequences. "Please, let's make this a happy time, a joyous time, a time of celebration and avoid these types of situations which is scary for the kids," Bontrager said.