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When Clowning Around Goes Too Far

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Julie Ambinder, Contributer

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As so many of us have caught wind of the clown phenomenon in one way or another, we wonder if this not-so-comedic trend will continue sweeping the nation. With Halloween right around the corner, should we be afraid of all the clown costumes we are going to see?  How can we distinguish between the dangerous clowns and those donning a classic costume?  Whether or not you were scared of clowns before these incidents, the many clown sighting stories give you good reason to be afraid.  For the past few weeks, my Facebook newsfeed has looked something like this: 10 More Clown Sightings Last Week, Beware of Creepy Clowns, Hoax or Real?  The terror-inducing figures have been targeting grade schools and colleges, reportedly attempting to lure children and teenagers into the woods.  Since many of the clown disturbances have proven to be nothing but pranks, the police can do nothing but wait for a confirmed instance of violence.  However, with over thirty reasonable suspicion arrests made nationwide over the past several months, some Americans are panicking.  Many videos of roadside clown sightings have been posted on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Some have even reported spotting armed clowns.  Although most of the sightings appear to have been hoaxes, this isn’t a matter to be taken lightly.  

A John Jay Student drove by a clown standing at a traffic light on Friday evening, October 21st in Cross River, NY.  The student said the clown was waving to pedestrians and stopped cars.  She described the incident as “terrifying and horrific.”  As October reaches its spooky culmination on the 31st, parents should coach their children in safe trick-or-treating practices, and people of all ages should be on the lookout.

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When Clowning Around Goes Too Far