Scary clowns frighten kids in St. John, sheriff says

Published 12:02 am Saturday, October 1, 2016

LAPLACE — The identification this week of a man suspected of participating in the ongoing prank of appearing in public as a “scary clown” hasn’t calmed fears in St. John the Baptist Parish.

Concern for many River Region residents ratcheted up when two men entered Matherne’s Supermarket in Paulina Monday dressed as clowns and would not remove their masks when asked to do so by store management.

“The two individuals did not act aggressively and left the store after the manager demanded they leave,” the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin said one individual has been identified and is cooperating with police.

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said the discussion of scary clowns was a hot topic when he spoke to local third graders Thursday.

“The kids told me the clowns have magical powers and cannot be arrested,” Tregre said.

“They are just freaking out and talking about not going trick-or-treating.”

According to the sheriff, there have been two reported sightings of a scary clown on the West Bank in Edgard.

No local arrests have been made.

“It’s a trend and a prank but a very dangerous one,” Tregre said. “Somebody is going to get hurt. These kids are saying stuff like these clowns have a machete and are calling me into the woods. Eventually, something bad is going to happen to one of these individuals who think this is a joke.

“If we catch you wearing a mask other than days allowed by law, you will be arrested.”