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Cops: Rumors of menacing clowns in Riverhead unfounded


Despite reports of people in clown costumes spooking residents, the Suffolk County police chief said Friday those sightings haven’t been confirmed and described the situation as a social media prank.

“The public should be aware there have been no reported assaults nor credible threats against public safety within the county,” Chief Stu Cameron said.

Suffolk County police received two reports of people dressed as frightening clowns in North Babylon and Brentwood Wednesday night, according to a Newsday story. Police said they’ve found no evidence those incidents occurred.

In Riverhead, rumors spread of scary clown sightings, but local police said they’ve received no reports of suspicious activity.

Creepy clown sightings have been reported across several states in recent weeks as part of a spreading social media prank, unnerving residents in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to news reports. According to The New York Times, 12 people have been arrested for making false reports of creepy clowns to perpetuate the hoax.

Chief Cameron is warning pranksters about attempting the idea on Long Island, saying anyone caught trespassing or disturbing others will be prosecuted.

“We understand this may be a social media prank throughout the country, but we take quite seriously all calls that involve intentional harassment, trespassing, disturbing of the peace, and reported activity that results in the citizens of our county feeling threatened,” he said.

Photo credit: griff le riff via Visual hunt / CC BY-ND