Nationwide clown issue reaches Maryville College campus

Man arrested by police in Middlesboro, Kentucky for wearing a mask in public and disorderly conduct. Photo from Middlesboro Police Department.
Man arrested by police in Middlesboro, Kentucky for wearing a mask in public and disorderly
conduct. Photo from Middlesboro Police Department.

Late at night on Thursday, Sept. 22, Maryville college students from Davis Hall reported a sighting of multiple individuals in masks outside their residence hall. Campus security received the call around midnight and immediately responded to the incident. The girls also reported it to the local authorities, but no report has been released.

When campus security arrived the masked individuals in question had already disappeared. Campus Security reports that there were 4 to 5 unidentifiable people wearing masks ranging from a clown, a skeleton and a nun standing in between Gibson and Gamble Hall.

Campus Security assumed the masked individuals were residents of Gamble Hall and took further action by searching the rooms of those who they believed to be under possible suspicion. No masks were found in the rooms that had been searched, and the subjects were questioned. However, none were detained.

“It was totally inappropriate,” said Jack Pipenbring, head of Campus Security at MC. “You can’t run around scaring people with masks on.”

The incident did not go unnoticed by other students on campus and began trending on social media. Photos were posted to snapchat and twitter. Those photographed were never identified.

“I heard a lot of yelling outside so I looked out the window and I saw four guys jumping out and scaring people,” Said Fernando Rabanales, MC sophomore and resident of Gibson Hall.

The band of masked individuals are still yet to be identified by Campus Security. However, reports of other clown activity have been popping up all over the nation with reports in Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

Police arrested a man in Middlesboro, Kentucky on Friday who was charged with wearing a mask in public and disorderly contact. There have also been reports of Clowns attempting to lure children into the woods in South Carolina leaving many residents in fear.

In addition, warning was recently issued from the Tennessee Department of Safety and the Tennessee Highway Patrol stating, “Watch out for clowns in your area they could be child predators seeking kids.”

Nothing has been released as to why this warning was issued. Reports on social media show that there has been a level of increased activity in the area.

Anyone who spots a suspicious clown or any masked individuals is asked to call 911 or campus security at (865)-981-8112.

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