AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — WHSV's Terry Ward heard police radio dispatches for a clown sighting in Fort Defiance, Virginia, on Saturday night. Ward contacted Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith for details.
Sheriff Smith told WHSV this:
"On Saturday, September 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. Deputies were dispatched to the area at 9:02 p.m. and were on location at 9:10 p.m., but were unable to locate any one dressed as clowns. The call was placed by a citizen that was in the area fishing with his children. The male was approached by two separate vehicles leaving the area at a high rate of speed. Both vehicles stopped to warn him that several people in the adjacent woodland area were dressed up as clowns. According to the caller, the people leaving the area were pretty upset over the clown sightings."
"I would like to make the citizens of Augusta County aware of the VA Code Section 18.2-422 which prohibits a person over sixteen years of age from wearing a mask, hood, or other device to cover or conceal the identity of the wearer. A violation of this code section is a Class 6 felony. 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."
Sheriff Smith added:
“This is a growing problem across the Commonwealth. Please do NOT engage in this 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.”
As for these images:
In a different incident, a viewer sent WHSV a short video clip showing what appeared to be a male with a forearm tattoo standing on a Waynesboro, Va., street while wearing a clown mask and gloves. The camera appeared to be in a vehicle. The clown-man looks toward the camera-person and raises his hands. WHSV has reached out to the video provider for detail but has not yet heard back. This web story's image uses frames from that video.