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What you need to know for 11/24/2017

Strange clown sightings abound in Capital Region

Strange clown sightings abound in Capital Region

Capital Region residents are growing increasingly concerned as a strange trend of creepy clown sight
Strange clown sightings abound in Capital Region
A customer tries on a clown mask at a costume store in Savannah, Ga. in 2010. Capital Region residents are growing increasingly concerned as a strange trend of creepy clown sightings continues to grow in the area.

Capital Region residents are growing increasingly concerned as a strange trend of creepy clown sightings continues to grow in the area. In just the last week, sightings of strange clowns have been reported in Amsterdam, Clifton Park and Halfmoon.

Four separate complaints of someone in a clown suit or mask were made in the town of Amsterdam on Wednesday, according to police. One of those complaints involved schoolchildren being harassed near Henry Street. As of Thursday afternoon, no arrests have been made.

A local woman reached out to Schenectady City Councilman Vince Riggi on Facebook to express concern after her young daughter told her she saw a clown hiding in the bushes by Oneida Middle School in Schenectady Thursday morning.

Karen Corona, a spokeswoman for the Schenectady City School District, said she was not aware of any clown sightings, though she knows there have been a lot of rumors. Corona said some of the children were joking about clowns coming to school, but no legitimate reports were filed.

According to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, a complaint was filed about a suspicious person dressed as a clown at an apartment complex in Clifton Park on Monday. According to police, the caller saw the clown about an hour earlier. Officers investigated the area but were unable to locate the person of interest. While no laws were broken, the investigation is still active.

Early Wednesday morning, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 7 a.m. reporting a person dressed as a clown standing in front of an apartment building in Halfmoon. Upon further investigation, the clown sighting reported in Halfmoon was based on a photo circulating on social media.

According to police, “the individual who had dressed in the clown outfit [in Halfmoon] contacted the sheriff’s office and has been interviewed. The photograph which has been circulated on social media shows children in the picture, the children were interacting with the clown with their parent’s knowledge and consent. There was no ill intent and no crimes were committed.”

Lieutenant Shelly Zieske of the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office still advises residents to report any suspicious individuals. “See something, say something,” she said.

These local clown sightings come just a month after The New York Times published a story about unsettling clown sightings in South Carolina. The clowns allegedly tried to lure children into the woods and scared adults as well.

On August 30, New York Times reporter Katie Rogers wrote, “The Greenville sheriff’s office investigated reports that residents of the apartment complex may have fired shots in the direction of the wooded area,” as a means of vigilante justice against the clowns.

Given the context of the situation in the southern part of the country, Capital Region residents have taken to social media to express their concerns.

“It’s very disturbing that this is happening so close to home and it’s more disturbing that there’s nothing specific we can do about it,” said Clifton Park resident Peter McPherson.

“Apparently there’s one of those creepy clowns walking around Clifton park so I’m gonna lock myself in my apartment for the rest of the night,” wrote Amy Daus on twitter.

Mark Cepiel, the public information officer for Troop G, said the state police have not received any reports as of Wednesday afternoon, though they have been fielding calls from the press regarding the issue since Monday.

Reach Gazette reporter Cady Kuzmich at 269-7239, ckuzmich@dailygazette.net or @cady_kuz on Twitter.

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