By Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM News
(CHICAGO) A wave of clown threats and sightings swept across the Chicago area and northwest Indiana in October 2016 causing not only concern for parents, but copycat cases locally and around the country.
The first clown sighting was at Lincolnway Central High School on Monday, October 3, but was later discovered as a hoax from a 14-year-old boy who goes to that school.
Next, a report was made by the Chicago Ridge Neighborhood Watch group on Facebook that there was a clown wandering the neighborhood and sighted at the intersection of 111th at Harlem, and then walking along 79th Street in Burbank.
Following these sightings, threats popped up in Chicago Heights, North Lawndale, Portage Park and at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
According to a Sun-Times article, threats by people representing themselves as clowns have also been made against Hammond High, Eggers, Gavit, Scott and Morton in Hammond, according to a statement from Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda.
“So far there have been no reports of confirmed clown sightings in the City of Hammond and at this time the information appears to be solely based on Facebook,” Hoyda said.
Another sighting in Waukegan at Greenwood Elementary ended up being fake.
With all of the bad press, John Howell and Ray Stevens talked to Suzie and MoMo the Clowns who spoke in defense of clowns.
Luckily the rumors were short-lived and none of the sightings actually were harmful to the public. Except that no media consumer can really get that time back that was wasted listening to preposterous stories of phony clowns.