Greensboro police responded to an apartment complex on Old Oak Ridge Road at about 10 am Tuesday, September 6, in response to a call about a clown in the woods. The call comes days after clowns were allegedly attempting to lure children into woods in Winston-Salem and Greenville, SC. Unlike those reports, no children were involved in the Greensboro incident.
The local witness reported that a person wearing a scary clown mask, red curly wig, yellow dotted shirt, blue clown pants and clown shoes exited the woods by The Park at Old Oak Ridge Road. Upon seeing the clown, another witness -- an adult male -- ran after it yielding a machete. The clown ran back into the woods and disappeared from view.
Dispatchers advised the man with the machete to put it down before police arrived. Officers searched the area, but were unable to find anyone matching the description.
Police continue to encourage people to report suspicious behavior, however they warn the public not to confront anyone who may be acting in an unusual manner.
Although it is lawful to dress as a clown, given the heightened tensions about these entertainers, officials are discouraging “copycat” behavior by individuals who may find it humorous to mimic suspicious behavior. Copycats unnecessarily alarm the public and place an unnecessary drain on police resources.
Police also encourage parents to use this incident as an opportunity to talk with their children about strangers and how to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Parents should tell children never go anywhere with a stranger, even if it sounds like fun. Instead, children should run away and scream if someone follows them or tries to entice them to go to another location.