A 17-year-old boy at Rogers High School was the only one clowning around and ended up getting arrested Wednesday, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
The teen was arrested on suspicion of felony harassment and false reporting after a series of threatening text messages sent to fellow students, reports of “clown hunting” and a stabbing and the discovery of clown masks near the Puyallup campus.
“The suspect reportedly started the threats as a joke with friends and it ‘got out of control,’” sheriff’s spokeswoman Ed Troyer said.
It started Monday night when the teen allegedly called 911 to report nearly 60 kids clown-hunting on the Nathan Chapman trail. He said he heard someone yell that somebody had been stabbed.
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Deputies responded but found no victim.
Just before midnight, three female students at Rogers High called 911 after receiving text messages from someone identifying himself as a clown and threatening to kill three specific students during lunchtime.
The teen allegedly listed himself as one of the targeted students, though the girls did not know who sent the threats.
Additional security was placed on campus Tuesday and the district put Rogers High on a modified lockdown during lunch, meaning students were restricted to campus.
Also Tuesday, Troyer said, the teen reported seeing a clown walking the fence outside the school and another wearing a clown mask and carrying a knife. Deputies found two clown masks in a wooded area outside the school.
The department did not say how they determined the boy was responsible for the incidents.
The teen was arrested at school early Wednesday and booked into Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center. Prosecutors will decide Thursday (Oct. 6) whether to file charges.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653