Creepy clown reports surface in Rifle; police find no credible threat
Reports of creepy clowns causing or threatening to cause mischief have made it to Rifle and, as has been the case in many of the numerous reports popping up across the country, there is no indication of actual danger.
The Rifle Police Department took to Facebook Tuesday to inform the community on several recent clown-related reports, while also urging residents to avoid giving into what the department said “amounts to a fabricated and typically baseless panic.”
One particular incident Monday involved a report of a man exiting a vehicle wearing a clown mask. The call turned out to be “vastly inaccurate,” according to the Rifle PD Facebook post.
“An individual had a clown mask affixed to their passenger seat headrest, and had for several years. No one had even been wearing the mask that evening.”
Pictures of the vehicle owner and the vehicle started surfacing on Facebook, leading to threats against the person, according to Rifle PD.
And last Friday the police department investigated what it called “a comment made by a clown account on Facebook.” The comment was ruled out as being an actual threat.
“The Rifle Police Department is investigating the possible threats, and will continue to investigate suspicious circumstance calls involving clowns or otherwise, but have no information right now that any of the threats are credible.”
The clown craze has sprung up across the country in recent months, as reported by numerous media outlets. Some instances involve reported sightings, while others involve threats typically made against area schools. In many of those cases law enforcement usually determines the threat is not credible.
Some, including Rifle PD, have pointed to social media platforms as the primary vehicle for allowing the clown fad to spread.
“Nationwide there have been very few instances in which there has been confirmation of the presence of anyone dressed up as a clown and acting inappropriately. Some of these incidents have been related to viral marketing. Others have been copycat type behavior by individuals.”
The Rifle department noted that people should continue regular life and seriously evaluate the source of information regarding social media posts that would cause “you to take actions that you would not normally.”
If someone does see something suspicious they should call 911 for an emergency and 970-625-8095 for a non-emergency.
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Upon informing the driver “it was not very smart to be transporting marijuana through Utah,” the man stated he “thought it was legal everywhere.”