Red Oak PD says “Clowns are people too” in response to hoaxes

RED OAK — Red Oak Police Department Statement: For several years now, there has been rumors and stories going around the internet about homicidal clowns. Please let us provide you some insight.

The recent spate of so-called killer clowns in the United States has led to people realizing that they are, in fact, coulrophobic, or afraid of clowns. And who can blame them, really? Our intent is not to offend people that suffer from coulrophobia but to educate the general public about how quickly things can spread and affect a community.

The killer clowns trope is part of our pop culture. It’s only natural, then, that we would equate clowns with killers, and these news reports are nothing, if not confirmation bias. Recent articles, however, suggest that not only is this fear of killer clowns unfounded, but it’s all an elaborate guerrilla marketing hoax to promote the upcoming reboot of Stephen King’s It. Even a recent twitter posts by Stephen King states "Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria-most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh."

This speculation was first started by Rolling Stone, whose killer clowns article labeled the spate of incidents as a terrifying hoax. Rolling Stone pointed out that while all of the reports of these killer clowns seem to report the same thing — a creepy clown, or clowns, living in the woods, trying to lure kids with violence — nothing substantive has come of these reports.

No one has ended up dead — let alone injured — as a result of these creepy clown appearances, and people from many different states (such as Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York) have been arrested if they’re caught wearing clown costumes. Some states even have laws that make it illegal for anyone over the age of 16 to wear a mask with the intent to intimidate or harass.

So how do we know that this is all a hoax, and an attempt to promote Stephen King’s It?

According to People Magazine, there’s simply no other logical explanation for this killer clowns phenomenon. People spoke to Benjamin Radford, author of a book entitled — what else? — Bad Clowns, and he explained that this phenomenon periodically pops up in American folklore from time to time, but that it has no basis in fact. This is not to say that killer clowns can’t exist (remember John Wayne Gacy?), but it is to say that, as far as American crime is concerned, there’s no basis in fact for our fear.

“America is once again in the middle of social anxiety. [But] the fact is, to date, there are no confirmed reports of any clowns actually abducting, harming, killing [or] molesting kids. There just aren’t. There are zero.”

This also isn’t the first time a Hollywood studio has used guerrilla marketing techniques to promote their newest offering, and it definitely isn’t the first time that guerrilla techniques have led to disastrous results.

While we, the Red Oak Police Department, take all threats seriously we simply do not have any credible information to believe that any actual threat exist. We have received no actual calls for service or related threats associated with any type of clown… no, hobo clowns, scary clowns, friendly clowns or any type of clowns. Simply put, clowns are people too.

We take all threats to our community seriously, yes even clown threats. To date we have not received any credible clown threats, acts of clown terror, or poor clown showmanship or balloon animal cruelty. However, should we receive any clown threats we will diligently and professionally investigate the the alleged clown infractions. We encourage our community to report suspicious activity of any type to include creepy clowns doing creepy clown suspicious stuff. However, we must emphasize that false reports or hoax claims of criminal activity are illegal and could result in jail time or fines.

We want our community to be safe and we want you feel like you can call us if we are needed. We are here to serve you. Folks, if there was a credible threat that we could act on, we would be all over it. If you feel like taking matters into your own hands and need a Anti-Clown repellent we found one on line.

Creepy clowns make us cop clowns sad!