Augusta Sheriff addresses recent report of clown sightings in county

Augusta Sheriff addresses recent report of clown sightings in county

AUGUSTA, VA (WWBT) - The headlines have been peppered recently with reports of clowns lurking in wooded areas and other locations and a similar sighting was reported in Augusta.

In a statement from Sheriff Donald Smith shared by NBC affiliate WVIR, "On Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, the Augusta County Sheriff's Office received a call for service regarding a clown sighting in the 100 block of River Bend Road in Fort Defiance."

Smith said the call was placed by a citizen that was in the area fishing with his children. The man said he was approached by two different vehicles leaving the area at a high rate of speed, with both stopping to warn him that several people in the nearby woods were dressed up as clowns.

The sheriff said the caller told them the people leaving the area were "pretty upset" over the clown sightings.

Smith also reiterated Code of Virginia section §18.2-422, which prohibits a person over 16 years of age from wearing a mask, hood, or other device to cover or conceal the identity of the wearer.

§ 18.2-422. Prohibition of wearing of masks in certain places; exceptions.

A Class 6 felony is punishable by one to five years of incarceration and a fine of not more than $2500. Either or both may apply if convicted of this offense.

"This is a growing problem across the Commonwealth," Sheriff Smith remarked, urging people not to take part in the illegal behavior. "Dressing as a clown and approaching people can result in someone getting seriously hurt. I strongly recommend not to engage in this behavior and want everyone to be aware of the Va. law which prohibits this behavior."

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