MILFORD (WWJ) – Police aren’t laughing about two incidents of clowns terrifying kids in a southwest Oakland County village.
Milford Police Chief Thomas Lindberg said no one was hurt in either case, but investigators are taking these reports very seriously.
“It’s not real funny these days,” Lindberg told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “We’ve had two reported incidents of clowns out creating some mischief. One was in the center part, center west part of the township where allegedly a clown chased a 15-year-old girl.”
“And then a second one, down on the south end of our township at a cluster home complex, where it was reported that a clown was walking around a playground offering cookies to children who were out playing.”
Lindberg said responding officer did not arrest or even see any clown suspects in the area, although an investigation into both incidents is ongoing.
Amid a rash of scary clown sightings and worse — robberies and assaults by masked crooks — some people are arguing that wearing a clown costume in and of itself isn’t a crime.
Lindberg said, that really depends.
While most communities, including Milford, don’t have laws on the books preventing the wearing of masks in public, there are state laws that could be applied on top of, or in place of, any local charges.
“There is a state law, 750.396, that prohibits somebody from wearing a mask during the commission of a crime or for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a crime — and that’s a second charge for whatever the crime they get arrested for,” Lindberg said. “They can get up to 90 days in jail, additional days in jail potentially, and not more than a $500 fine or both.”
Lindberg said the message his department wants to get out there is: If you see something, say something.
“So, even though you might just see a clown walking down one of our dirt roads, we wanna know about it.”
The chief said, while police will have boots on the ground on Halloween night, he does expect trick-or-treating — at least in his community — to go on as planned. To parents, he suggests maybe they go out with this kids this year.