New Haven officials address concerns after clown threats surface - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New Haven officials address concerns after clown threats surface online

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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

The threat of creepy clowns is intensifying in New Haven, and the Board of Education is working with police after an online threat was made.

While the threat is not credible, both the school district and police said they are being cautious and will continue to watch.

"It is something we're taking seriously. There is no question, they're making threats. We don't believe there is any credible threat of violence but they are still making people uncomfortable,” said Garth Harries, New Haven superintendent of schools.

This comes after a few social media posts were found, where someone is calling themselves “New Haven Clowns,” and made an online threat mentioning a number of schools, saying "if you go to Career...watch out,” and "then Hillhouse, Cross, Eli Whitney, Co-op, Sound....u really think it's fake, wait and see."

Other towns in the state are dealing with similar incidents as well, like Naugatuck and Meriden.

On Monday, New Haven Public Schools said they don’t want students dressing up as clowns during the Halloween season.

"We believe this very may well be a case of teen pranks, copy cats, hoax gotten out of hand…that said, we are taking it seriously and taking the necessary precautions the safety of our schools,” Harries said.

The district said it asked Instagram to take down the account, and police are also involved, trying to find out who is behind it.

"Fortunate for New Haven, we are a large enough police department that has a dedicated school resource officer program, that supplements a dedicated and quite large school security program, and with the addition of a couple of Intel detectives, we're looking at a dozen police personnel working on this, with open eyes and open ears,” said New Haven Police Officer David Hartman.

Officials are also asking parents to be more aware, after middle school students were caught joking around with a clown mask on Tuesday.

New state laws say if it rises to a credible threat against a school, the person behind the threat would be charged with a felony. As it stands right now, the superintendent says if they find out a student is behind the threats, they'll deal with it on a case by case basis.

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