Scary clown trend hits Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake RCMP are not amused by a hoax scary clown incident earlier this month.

The scary clown trend has hit Sylvan Lake and RCMP are not amused.

Police monitoring social media came across what appeared to be a possibly criminal incident in which a clown chased a teen out of a playground to a residence on Oct. 5.

The clown then stood outside the door before fleeing.

Police investigated and determined it was a hoax. Both the clown and the person fleeing were in on it together and posted it for fun.

RCMP Sgt. Jeff McBeth takes a dim view of the “prank,” which spawned a couple of other alleged scary clown sightings in town by concerned residents.

The fake incident, which was posted on a Facebook page dedicated to Sylvan Lake happenings, appeared real enough to trigger further investigation.

Scary clown incidents have been popping up in cities all across North America and even in Europe. Children have been terrorized and pedestrians stalked menacingly and a number of charges have been laid.

McBeth said police can’t dismiss what could be a criminal incident as a prank without checking it out.

“We treat every complaint that comes into us as legitimate until we can prove otherwise,” he said.

“We have to enter into every investigation with the best intentions of we’re going to gather the facts and we’re going to gather the evidence.

“Then we’ll make a determination based on the evidence and the facts, not on, ‘Hey, this looks staged or I don’t think they’re telling the truth.’”

In this case, valuable police time was wasted getting to the bottom of the prank.

Police aren’t releasing much information because all involved are young offenders. But a youth was arrested on Thursday and a mischief charge is being considered.

McBeth said the teens crossed the line with this prank.

“When you put it on a social media with likely the intent to scare the public — which is, in fact, what I believe it did because then we started having other multiple sightings of clowns — then it’s gone far beyond anything you likely wanted it to do.”

Halloween is all about dressing up and having fun. But if gets to the point someone feels threatened, police will get involved.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer up to four active COVID-19 cases

Province announced 77 new confirmed cases across Alberta Friday

Red Deer woman loses student visa, ‘has no choice but to leave’ Canada

Victoria Forschle and her family came to Canada in 2008

Agriculture trade show is a must, says Red Deer chamber

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce promotes trade show

$21M of improvements to be made to Olds College

More than $21 million in improvements will be made to Olds College,… Continue reading

Canadian economy adds 953,000 jobs in June, unemployment rate falls

OTTAWA — Nearly one million more Canadians had jobs in June than… Continue reading

Survey suggests 40 per cent of Alberta doctors have considered leaving province

CALGARY — A survey by the Alberta Medical Association suggests more than… Continue reading

NHL, NHLPA ratify RTP, CBA extension; Toronto, Edmonton unveiled as hub cities

TORONTO — The NHL remains on course to resume its pandemic-delayed season… Continue reading

Fast-moving Tropical Storm Fay makes landfall in New Jersey

NEW YORK — Fast-moving Tropical Storm Fay made landfall in New Jersey… Continue reading

‘Are you wearing protection?’: Daters struggle with COVID-19 compatibility

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Baltimore on Friday struck down a… Continue reading

Red Deer sports groups sticking to racially sensitive names for now

Professional sports teams Edmonton Eskimos and Washington Redskins are reviewing their team names

Genetic non-discrimination law is constitutional, Supreme Court says

OTTAWA — In a split decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has… Continue reading

Most Read