Police find no evidence of campus clown

Karl Schneider

Kent State police received a phone call Monday night about an image of a clown on campus and dispatched officers found no confirmed sightings.

The caller saw the image in Snapchat and reported it to campus police. The photo circulated Twitter and fueled a student-led search for a clown. Officials have since said the photo is months old and wasn’t actually taken on Kent State’s campus.

“It was a grainy photo of a clown,” said Tricia Knoles, a Kent State police community resource officer . “We have confirmed that the photo was actually taken months ago in North Carolina … it was not on Kent (State’s) campus, and the original poster has since taken that down.”

In the event that a clown is seen on campus, Kent State Police Services would send out a text message through the Flash Alert system.

“(There was) no evidence of anyone dressed as a clown, so absolutely no danger to students,” Knoles said. “We want to encourage, not just students, but parents, that they sign up for the service so they get the message right away if there was some sort of true emergency.”

To clear up reports regarding a clown presence on campus, the university’s Twitter handle Kent State News released a statement:

“Police have found no evidence of anyone actually dressed as a clown nor has there been any evidence of a danger to the campus.”

Knoles acknowledged the occurrences of clown sightings across the country and said she encourages students to call police if a clown is seen.

Students on Twitter shared the image of the North Carolina clown Monday night. KentWired shared the image without proper vetting and has since removed it from the original story.

Karl Schneider is the senior editor for The Kent Stater, contact him at [email protected].