On Friday morning, a sighting of a creepy clown forced a lockdown of the Hopatcong Middle School for about 20 minutes. While the Hopatcong Police were not able to find the person(s) responsible, they did issue this stern statement.
Lt. Kmetz – Hopatcong Police: Most of us have a family, homework, stress, relationships, bills, things that need to get done, work and the like. Our time is spent trying to improve our lives and the lives of those close to us.
Others have the time to put on a mask and see how many followers they can get on social media. They seek the short span of attention that they will get based on the media's reports of widespread clown sightings all over the country. If these people want negative attention then they shall have it.
The act of wearing a clown mask is not illegal. However, there are risks that the "clown' takes when he, she or they combine the mask with intimidation or carrying a weapon. (Real or fake it can mean the same bad outcome).
This is what the outcome could be for those who chose to take this path:
- You’re wearing a mask in public is extremely suspicious. Especially in this day and age. Doing so will certainly lead you to be seeing us in a short amount of time. No one knows your intent. Are you a crazed gunman? A terrorist? Or, just a dumb kid?
- Many people will protect themselves, their family and friends. The "clown" has no idea what the mental capacity is of his/her victim. The "clown" may wind up getting a trip to a hospital or as seen on the news this morning even be shot and killed.
- There are statutes that protect the public from illegal behavior. In New Jersey, we have Harassment, Disorderly Conduct, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Terroristic Threats. It would be a shame that a good career path was destroyed because of a criminal record.
The good people of Hopatcong already know that if you see the suspicious behavior you call us. This is no different. We will deal with the clowns. Just call us.
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