The “creepy clown” phenomenon has reached Galt, where a little boy was scared by two people in masks on his way home from school Wednesday.
Reports of people clad in menacing clown outfits across the country are keeping law enforcement officials busy as pictures are posted online and schools receive online threats from people dubbing themselves creepy clowns.
The hysteria has made headlines nationwide and caused schools to issue alerts, including in Sacramento County. Elk Grove and Natomas unified school districts earlier this week sent letters to parents informing them of recent Instagram clown posts threatening area campuses.
Galt police said a fourth-grader from Lake Canyon Elementary School was walking home about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday when school let out early. As he approached his house, which is near the school, his adult sister who was in front of his home saw that he was running.
“Two subjects with clown masks on were jogging behind him,” Galt police Lt. Brian Kalinowski said. “Certainly the 8-year-old was scared. Nothing was said to the child, although one of the subjects was laughing.”
Officers could not find the masked strangers. One of the clowns was carrying a long-handled hammer-like costume prop.
Police had extra marked and unmarked police units near the school Thursday.
Karen Schauer, Galt Joint Union Elementary School District superintendent, sent a letter to parents saying that the district is working with the Galt Police Department regarding the wave of social media posts about clowns showing up at schools threatening to do harm. She urged parents to remind children not to talk to strangers and to walk with a group of friends directly to and from school. The letter advises children who are approached by a stranger not to panic, but to run to school or home and report the incident.
Schauer urged anyone who observes suspicious activity in or around a school site to call the Galt Police Department at 911 or 209-366-7000.