Over the past few days, Siloam Springs residents may have heard rumors or seen social media postings about clowns that are threatening or harassing people. As of release time, there has been one investigation opened by Police related to a disturbing social media message received by a local child which included a picture of a clown. The nature of the accompanying message justified a preliminary investigation that is still ongoing.
Approximately 6:00 PM October 5, 2016, two juveniles wearing clown masks were contacted by police and identified after they were observed walking around the 1000 block of north Britt Street. There were no reports or allegations that the two threatened, chased or interfered with anyone. Approximately 8:25 PM that same evening, two juveniles and an adult male were located and identified by JBU Campus Security and Siloam Springs Police on Valley Drive. One of them was wearing a mask. Again, none of these persons were alleged to have chased, threatened or interfered with anyone. There is no evidence to suggest these events were connected.
Individuals who choose to wear masks or costumes are not violating any laws if their behavior and actions are lawful. However, if their actions, their location, the time of day, or other elements combine to create fear, uneasiness or alarm, or if they threaten people, police will respond and investigate. If the activity is determined to be criminal, the police department will take appropriate enforcement action against the violator; this includes a physical arrest.
Persons who are considering wearing masks or costumes in order to create unrest, frighten others or interfere with the peace or well-being of others, should think very carefully about the potential consequences. What may be thought amusing by you could be seen as a real threat, and a person’s response may result in injury to you or them. Please be respectful towards people, and avoid this type of behavior.
We are asking the community to immediately call the police if you have contact with any person in circumstances like these. Siloam Springs Police are here to serve you and one of our primary goals is to work together to make our community safe for all. You can call the police dispatch at 524-4110 or in the case of an emergency please dial 911.