VCSO: Creepy Clown pranks in greater Daytona won't be tolerated

Clown sightings like this are no laughing matter / Headline SurferPhotos for Headline Surfer / Clown sightings like these in Florida and across the nation have now hit close to home here in Central Florida. At left, in rural Ocala in Marion  County,  a roadside in a wooded area of rural Ocala,a creepy clown masked-figure is caught lurking in tall grass. Above, an example of a creepy clown get-up, if there ever was one so scary looking.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Hoax threats and other creepy clown posts have been making the rounds all across the country, and they really took off today in schools in Volusia County, officials with the Sheriff's office said.

 "We want you to know our schools are safe," VCSO spokesman Andrew Gant told Headline Surfer. "While we encourage everyone to report things that seem strange and potentially dangerous -- involving clowns or otherwise -- the many rumors circulating today about clowns killing or kidnapping people have been debunked and put to rest. It should go without saying, but we want everyone to know that trying a clown prank of your own or making a false report about one is a bad idea. You could cause more trouble than it's worth, for yourself and the rest of us."

 VCSO spokesman Andrew Gant says creepy clown cares are no laughing matter / Headline SurferAndrew Gant, shown here, one of two civilian PIOs in the Sheriff's Office, said the agency is taking a pro-active apprach to heading off any scary clowqn pranks or concerns, especiaslly in the schools.

"We want you to know our schools are safe," Gant told Headline Surfer. "While we encourage everyone to report things that seem strange and potentially dangerous -- involving clowns or otherwise -- the many rumors circulating today about clowns killing or kidnapping people have been debunked and put to rest. 

Gant continued, "It should go without saying, but we want everyone to know that trying a clown prank of your own or making a false report about one is a bad idea. You could cause more trouble than it's worth, for yourself and the rest of us."

Still, out of an abundance of caution, Sheriff's deputies responded to various schools throughout the day on this Friday, in response to chatter among students about clown pranks. Among the schools: Heritage, River Springs Middle and Pine Ridge High School.

Gant said deputies dealt with "mostly just rumors and sharing of images from social media," but he pointed out, there were no local pranks on or at schools that he was made aware of. 

The PIO alluded to what Politico's Marc Caputo wrote this morning: "'...Let’s stop beclowning ourselves. Folks are dressing up like creepy clowns, the news media can’t resist the phrase 'creepy clowns' (guilty) or covering it in a stupidly serious way. And it will become serious one day because, now that the trend has spread to Florida, some clown runs the real risk of getting shot" by a startled victim.' "

Gant added, "Let's leave the clown stuff behind. Thanks, have a safe weekend and call us if you need us."

Multimedia
YouTube video download shown above illustrates fear of scary clowns.

 

 

Henry Frederick Picture

Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.