FAIR LAWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Fair Lawn, New Jersey arrested two teenage boys who are accused of driving around and yelling at people while wearing clown masks.
Meanwhile, a Nassau County teen claimed someone in a clown costume was going around with a kitchen knife in broad daylight.
In the Fair Lawn incident, local police were called at 1:03 a.m. to Route 208 South, after New Jersey State police and Wyckoff police reported there was a black Toyota Tundra rolling around with the occupants hanging out of the vehicle and yelling at the victims while wearing clown masks.
The victims said they could not tell if the people in clown masks had anything in their hands, and they were forced to slam on their brakes when the incident occurred on Route 23, police said.
The driver of the Toyota continued to follow the victim’s vehicle from Route 23 to Route 287 north, and finally to Route 208 South, where Fair Lawn police officer Louis Vasquez pulled over the vehicle.
Officers found two clown masks in the vehicle, and also found marijuana and a knife on one passenger, police said.
One teen who had been in the Toyota, Conner Moreno, 18, of Lodi, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, police said. The driver, Cortney Thissen, 19, of Fair Lawn, was ticketed for reckless driving, police saisd.
The other three passengers – two 18-year-old men, one each from Hackensack and Saddlebrook, and a 19-year-old woman from Hasbrouck Heights, were released without charges, police said.
It was the passengers in the vehicle who were wearing clown masks, and they said they only waved their hands at the victims while hanging out of their vehicle, police said.
Meanwhile on Long Island, police reported that a 14-year-old claimed to be leaving Malverne High School and crossing into an opening in a fence at the dead end of Clifton Avenue, when someone in a purple clown costume with a white mask and red wig came up from behind. The person dressed a clown had a large kitchen knife, the teen alleged.
The teen claimed to have run through the alleyway onto Jefferson Avenue and then to Langdon Boulevard, after which point the “clown” was no longer there, police said.
The “clown” was described as 6 feet tall with a thin build.
Purported encounters with scary clowns have been the subject of hype lately.
Clown-related social media posts making threats against schools and students have led to arrests in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. At least one school district in Connecticut has also banned clown costumes during the Halloween season.
But a top NYPD police official urged New Yorkers not to believe the creepy-clown hype.
“Don’t be afraid of the clowns,” the NYPD’s John Miller said Monday.
Unusual creepy clown reports started popping up in South Carolina back in August, but since then the stories have spread to nearly a dozen states.