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17-year-old boy arrested for instigating clown-related chaos at Rogers, deputies say

Clown masks found on trail near Rogers High

Clown masks found on trail near Rogers High

PUYALLUP, Wash. – Deputies arrested a 17-year-old boy Wednesday morning who is suspected of instigating the clown-related threats that rattled Rogers High School this week.

The boy was booked into Remann Hall on three counts of felony harassment and one count of false reporting for a series of events that culminated in Rogers being placed in modified lock-down during lunch Tuesday.

Detectives said the boy began making the threats as a joke, and that it got out of control.

“I do not regard threats of violence as pranks,” Pierce County sheriff Paul Pastor said. “Threats are criminal acts, and students deserve protection.”

According to a Facebook post from the Pierce County sheriff’s department:

On Monday night just before 10:30, somebody made a call to 911 claiming that about 60 students were hunting for clowns on a trail near Rogers. The caller – who deputies believe is the boy they arrested – claimed he was on the phone with a friend who was part of the hunt, and that he had heard someone yell they’d been stabbed.

Deputies rushed to the trail but couldn’t find a victim.

About an hour after that call, three female Rogers students got texts from a strange number, and that same number then called them. When they answered, it was the suspect on the other end, claiming he was a clown.

Deputies said the suspect named three students, and told the girls he would “kill them all” if the girls didn’t bring those students to him. All three girls called 911 immediately.

The suspect is one of the three students named in the threat.

Deputies said the same boy had also contacted them about several other clown-related threats. He’d claimed to see a clown with a knife near school grounds; reported seeing a person in a clown mask walking the fence line at the school; and reported threatening messages from clowns on Twitter.