BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Creepy clown sightings are now being reported on Long Island.
Police said they received a 911 call Wednesday night about a group of people dressed up as clowns, jumping in front of and chasing cars on Commack Road in Brentwood. Authorities also received a call about a person dressed as a scary clown in North Babylon.
Police have not confirmed any of the reports, and no officers have personally witnessed any of the menacing clowns, Suffolk County police Chief Stu Cameron said, adding that there have been no reported assaults nor credible threats against public safety within the county.
“We understand this may be a social media prank throughout the country, but we take quite seriously all calls that involve intentional harassment, trespassing, disturbing of the peace, and reported activity that results in the citizens of our county feeling threatened,” Cameron said.
Police are closely monitoring social media channels and calls made to the department, Cameron said.
Some people on Twitter claimed to have witnessed the clowns.
After one of the anonymous Long Island clowns threatened Lindenhurst on Twitter, the elementary school kept students inside for their recess, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
And North Babylon schools were put on lockout Friday.
“I think it’s out of hand,” said Nicholas, a North Babylon resident. “Got to put a stop to that. It’s not a joke really.”
Khalique Owens said his Wednesday night drive home along Commack Road in Brentwood was ominous, like a scene out of a horror movie.
“I see a clown right in the middle of the street — full clown suit, clown mask, with a long object that looked like a bat in his hand, just standing there,” Owens told Bauman.
Owens started to drive off — and then he saw another clown.
“The second clown, I guess he was kneeling. (He) just stands up real slowly as I drove past,” Owens said.
The creepy clown sightings have been increasing across the country recently.
A woman who works in Brentwood said it’s nothing to laugh about.
“I think it’s dangerous,” she told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “Enough! It’s not even Halloween yet. It’s not even funny.”
Creepy clowns have been scaring people across the nation since August, when reports started coming out of South Carolina of clowns running in the woods and attempting to lure kids in with candy.
Since then, similar stories of strange sightings and encounters have come out of nearly a dozen states including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
On Friday, an Ohio school district closed all of its schools after a woman said a man dressed as a clown grabbed her by the neck and made a threat against students.
Earlier this week, a New Jersey boy said he was walking home through an alleyway in Phillipsburg when he encountered a sword-wielding clown. The boy said he heard the clown say ,“I’m gonna get cha,” and he immediately ran home.
In another incident, three clowns reportedly jumped out of the woods and chased a different child in Phillipsburg.
The reports have also prompted the Toms River Police Department to increase its presence at schools out of an abundance of caution.
“Nobody knows how to defend against it because we don’t know if it’s a prank or they’ll harm people,” Owens said.