Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office: Walking around in public in a clown costume is not a crime

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The creepy clown sightings seen across the United States hit the Pacific Northwest this week. Authorities in Mukilteo, Seattle, and Tacoma responded to the clown hoax, but they are done.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office addressed the issue on their Facebook page, Thursday.

“The Sheriff’s Office has no evidence of a credible threat to public safety in regards to the recent reports of ‘clown sightings’ in Snohomish County. Unless there is evidence of a potential crime, Sheriff’s Office deputies and our partner city police officers will not respond to clown sightings reported to 911.”

In the post authorities also broke down when you should call 911.

1. Anytime you witness someone committing an actual crime (trespass, harassment, car prowl, etc.), whether they are dressed as a clown or a pirate or a regular citizen, you should call 911.

2. Making a threat towards individuals or communities (e.g. a school) – whether via a social media post, text message or other form of communication – is a crime and will be investigated as such.

3. Walking around in public in a clown costume is not a crime.

4. Acting or looking suspicious is also not a crime *unless the suspect displays threatening or criminal behavior* (see #1 and #2).

5. Making false reports to law enforcement is a crime.”

On Wednesday the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department also said their deputies will stop responding to clown-related calls.

Spokesman Ed Troyer said the deputies responded to at least five reports that turned out to be bogus threatening posts on social media from an Instagram account based in New York.

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