Could Clowning Around Land You in Tri-Cities Legal Trouble?
If you're thinking about dressing up as a clown to give the unsuspecting citizens of the Tri-Cities a good scare for Halloween, you might want to reconsider. There are many ways "clowning around" this holiday could land you in trouble with the law.
Is Dressing as a Clown Around Town Illegal?
If you can remember to 2016, there were a rash of scary clown sightings all over the US. Most of the stories seemed to originate from Florida but we also had reports of clowns right here in Tri-Cities. The fear the public had for the clowns made the local police release statements about what "was" and "was not legal."
Is There a Law Against Dressing as a Clown in Public?
There doesn't seem to be a law anywhere banning people from dressing as clowns but there are laws about what you can do. Pasco police gave a warning about different activities you could get in trouble for while dressed as a clown. One warning they gave was for wearing a mask while in a store. They say in the warning that the fall historically has more robberies in the area so if you're wearing a mask "you are begging for the police to show up and lawfully detain you until we are convinced you meant no harm."
How Else Can You Get in Trouble for While Wearing a Clown Costume?
The Pasco police also warned that if you are jumping "into traffic or attempt to scare and startle random strangers on the street", you are committing disorderly conduct and can be arrested. You can get in more trouble if your dressed as a clown and are carrying a dangerous weapon. They say just don't do it but do not say what will happen. Those aren't the only two ways you can get into trouble, however.
You Can Also Get in Trouble for Being a Clown Snitch
Being a clown can get you in trouble but reporting a clown that is causing no harm can also land you in trouble. Police do not want to waste resources chasing after threats that do not exist. Do not call and complain about a clown you see because they are scary. They have to be doing one of the things explained above.
Clown Facts You Learned Today
Lessons you should have learned today about clowning around in the Tri-Cities:
- #1- Don't be a scary clown and try to scare regular people or wear a clown mask in stores. Instead, be a nice clown.
- #2- Don't call police unless a scary clown is actually breaking the law.
Now be smart and have a safe and happy Halloween!
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