For the second time in two days, we're here to report that clowns have once again put a school district on alert. This time, we move from Florida to Ohio, where multiple schools canceled classes Friday after a woman reported being assaulted by a man dressed as a clown.
According to ABC 15, a Reading, Ohio woman was smoking on her porch at 4 a.m. Friday when a man dressed in a white mask and red wig came to her home, grabbed her by the throat, and made threats against the local junior and senior high schools. The woman reportedly told police that the clown said that he "should just kill you now," and that "some students and teachers would wish they were never born at the junior and senior high school today." The suspect has not been apprehended, and the victim was taken to the hospital.
Reading Community City Schools posted the decision to Facebook on Friday morning, noting that they were concerned for the safety of student who have to walk to school early in the morning.
Over in another part of Ohio (just a few hours earlier on the same night!) police arrested a teenager for dressing as a clown and "threatening to harm students at school," per Colerain Township Police. Both "inducing panic" and "making terrorist threats" are felonies, so that's likely the last time the teenager will go near a clown mask again.
In yet another part of Ohio, reports of a clown lurking in the woods outside of an elementary school alarmed teachers and parents, also per ABC 15. Police in a dozen other states have also received reports of clown sightings near heavily wooded areas.
Law enforcement agencies have noted that the clown sightings are likely copycat crimes—a product of viral news stories—and are a drain on resources better spent on solving actual crime.