Wednesday afternoon a customer at Walmart on Highway 280 called police to alert them to a person dressed as a clown in the parking lot.
The caller told dispatchers that she saw a male, dressed in a clown costume in an older model red pickup truck with a confederate flag showing in the back.
Was it another of the many “creepy clown” sightings or, considering the description of the vehicle, perhaps a Billy Bob Bozo clown wannabe?
Officers were dispatched to the parking lot, but found the vehicle empty when they arrived. They backed off and waited for the occupant of the vehicle to return.
But when the owner returned, there was no white makeup, no red nose, no rainbow wig and not a single balloon animal. The man wasn’t even wearing size 24 red shoes.
After questioning the man for a few minutes, police left and the man went on his way, and was seen dialing a cellphone to tell someone what had just happened.
While this turned out to be nothing, Alexander City Police issued an alert via social media on the subject.
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“We have received social media messages in reference to clowns posting threats on social media pages” a post attributed to Deputy Chief Jay Turner reads. “The threats have not been credible and as written in the article it takes a considerable amount of time to investigate the alleged threat.
“The easiest solution is to change your social media security settings and only allow those you know to post on your social media page; this will eliminate receiving posts from these fake profiles being used in this current fad of clown hysteria.”
Elsewhere, police are locking people up when they track them down.
After threats were made to schools in Baldwin, Bibb, Calhoun, Escambia, Etowah, Geneva, Jefferson, Mobile and Montgomery counties, there have been several arrests. A 16-year-old from Pleasant Valley, an 18-year-old in West Blocton, 22-year-old Makayla Smith and two juveniles from Flomaton and four Geneva juveniles, three students at Geneva Middle School and one Geneva High School student, have all been arrested and face charges. Several are charged with making terrorist threats.
In addition, 27-year-old Rebecca Moody of Valley was arrested and charged with making fake 911 calls about creepy clowns.
There was even a “Creepy Clown threat” investigated by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday involving Beauregard High School.