If you've ever worried about the future of America, you were right to be concerned: Not only can they use Snapchat better than you ever will and have secret apps to keep their sexts hidden from olds, teenagers are really into this killer clown trend. So much so that they are faking killer clown threats... and getting arrested for it.
A 13-year-old girl was arrested and charged with cyber harassment after making threats on social media about a clown targeting students and residents in Washington Township, NJ. According to NBC Philadelphia, "The threats warned people that they should be scared and should not walk by themselves. The threats also mentioned specific targets, according to officials." Also:
The teen girl was arrested and charged. Police say the girl's family is also cooperating with the investigation. Investigators say the girl made the threats because it was a popular trend around the country and she thought it would be funny.
A 14-year-old male student at a high school in Washington Township was also arrested and charged with cyber harassment for a different clown threat.
These arrests come as Philadelphia police have identified a 13-year-old girl who made clown threats with a friend.
A photo posted by PhillyClowns (@phillyclown33) on
NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller said the NYPD is on it but so far they've "found none of these to be credible, and we've tried to avoid falling into the trap of putting extra police protection... We're tracking it, but we don't see any real threat here. Our main message is: don't believe the hype, and don't be afraid of the clowns."
Frank Farley, a psychology professor at Temple University, told WPVI there's a difference between harmless pranks and this kind of fake threat: "I don't think pranks that threaten lives are innocent anymore. This nation in 9/11 was invaded from the outside, and we've had terrorist incidents since then." He added, "Now a 13-year-old probably doesn't know anything about John Wayne Gacy, but most parents should know about John Wayne Gacy, who was this lovable clown in Chicago who everyone wanted this John Wayne Gacy clown to come to their children's party and so on, and he was systematically killing young boys."
Philadelphia officials said of the teen girl who confessed to clowning, "This juvenile indicated that this 'prank only' was committed with a friend at her school and she never had any intent to harm anyone." But others aren't comforted. Mother Yvette Malave said to WPVI, "If she was old enough to make the prank, she should pay for what she did. She should be punished."