Creepy clown sightings draw interest from White House

A recent spate of clown sightings in several states since late summer inspired an unusual question for White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest during the daily briefing on Tuesday from the James S. Brady press room.

Prompted by an increase of sightings of grotesque-looking clowns in public places, Bloomberg reporter Justin Sink asked Earnest if President Obama was aware of the situation and if the White House had a position on the matter.

Cracking a smile, Earnest gave Mr. Sink a serious answer.

“I don’t know that the president has been briefed on this particular situation.  Obviously, this is a situation that law enforcement is taking quite seriously,” he said.

Incidents in several states, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania, in which individuals dressed as menacing clowns loitering in high-traffic areas or near wooded areas on roadsides, and in some instances committing crimes, has stirred communities and alerted law enforcement.

The phenomenon is said to have spread to Illinois and California.

On several occasions in August, South Carolina police investigated reports of the “creepy” clowns attempting to coax young children into the woods; and in another incident, Pennsylvania police were exploring accounts from children who said they were chased by clowns.

On one college campus, York College in Pennsylvania, campus police issued a safety warning to students related to eight sightings over the last week, although no crimes had been reported.

 

[The Hill] [NBC Los Angeles] [Chicago Tribune] [Photo courtesy NBC News]