PUYALLUP, Wash. - Pierce County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 17-year-old junior at Rogers High School in connection with a series of clown-related threats that resulted in the school being placed into a modified lockdown during lunch Tuesday.
The boy is being booked into Remann Hall Wednesday on three counts of felony harassment and one count of false reporting.
At 10:22 p.m. on Monday, a call was made to 911 reporting that about 60 juveniles were “clown hunting” on the Nathan Chapman Trail near Rogers High School in Puyallup. The caller said he was on the phone with a friend who was “clown hunting” and heard someone yell that they had been stabbed. Numerous deputies arrived to the area of the trail, but no victim was found.
At 11:24 p.m., three girls who are students at Rogers High School received a text message from a phone number they did not recognize. When the girls called the phone number, a male answered the phone and identified himself as a clown. He then named three students at Rogers High School and made a threat to kill them at lunch the following day.
He then said that if the girls did not bring the three named students to him, he would “kill them all.” The girls immediately called 911 and reported the threats. Numerous deputies, investigators, and detectives were assigned to investigate the threats and make sure students were safe at school the following day.
At 8:25 a.m. on Tuesday, deputies contacted a boy at Rogers High School who had been named in the threat and had placed the 911 call reporting the stabbing. Police said the student had also reported receiving threatening messages from clowns on Twitter.
The student reported seeing a person wearing a clown mask walking along a fence line at Rogers High School on Monday morning, and seeing another person wearing a clown mask and carrying a knife on the trail along school property on Tuesday morning.
The Sheriff’s Department later developed information that the student who had made the 911 call reporting the stabbing, had been named in the threats, and had claimed to see a clown armed with a knife near school grounds, was the same person who made the threats.
According to investigators, 17-year-old boy reportedly started the threats as a joke with friends and it “got out of control.” Investigators interviewed and arrested the boy at the high school Wednesday morning.
“We will not tolerate threats to schools. We will take such threats seriously and track down whoever is responsible. I do not regard threats of violence as pranks. Threats are criminal acts and students deserve protection,” said Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor.
The arrest comes as numerous sightings of “creepy” clowns are being reported across Western Washington, stretching police resources.
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