Clowns normally make appearances at birthday parties and carnivals, but lately they have been roaming the streets, with the intent to scare anyone in sight.
According to Alex Garofalo, from International Business Time, the “Killer-clown craze” began on Aug. 29 at Fleetwood Manor apartments, in Greenville County, South Carolina. Clowns were spotted around the apartment attempting to lure children into the woods.
This phenomenon moved from the Southeast to the East Coast.
East Lansing residents are worried that they could be the next city inhabited by “creepy clowns.”
“I have yet to see a clown in East Lansing, but if I do see a clown I am for sure running,” East Lansing resident Justice Porter said.
Porter says the faces behind the clown suits could be a real threat.
“It’s not because I am scared of clowns, but because I feel a real serial killer could use it as a disguise,” she said.
A driving issue is whether the victims being harassed by clowns should exercise their right to defend themselves.
“If they got in my personal space I would spray them with Mace or try to protect myself as much as I can,” Edgewood program reading assistant Denise Patterson said.
She agrees with shooting and killing clowns who harass people.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a clown or not, if you’re in someone’s personal space, they have the right to shoot and kill you for their safety,” Patterson said.
“To defend yourself with a weapon you would have to be in fear or in danger. If people are going to go around shooting clowns that would not be a good thing to do,” East Lansing Police Department Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth said.
According to the police department people cannot be charged for dressing up as clowns.
“There is nothing illegal for someone to be dressed up as a clown, the stuff that is illegal is if someone dressed up as a clown and commits a crime. It’s not against the law to walk around in a clown suit,” Wriggelsworth said.
Lansing resident Sharon Zuzga said the only time it would be OK to hurt a clown is if they went after someone first, not just because they have on a clown suit.
“Without any provocation why would anyone have the right to shoot or hurt a clown? Just because it would creep me out isn’t a reason to escalate to the point of violence,” East Zuzga said.
Residents of East Lansing are looking to police to ensure their safety especially, because Halloween is almost upon us.
“Halloween is a big event in East Lansing. I’m guessing this will be a big clown Halloween time and some people will be freaked out about it,” Wriggelsworth said. “I certainly hope people’s plan isn’t to just go out and shoot a clown.”