UConn police had received between 25 to 30 calls to the 911 center about clown sightings on campus on Monday night. The problem, however, was that most of the incidents were not direct sightings and were reports that people had heard of a clown spotting on campus.
“So far as we know right now, there was no confirmed sighting on campus,” Chief of Police Hans Rhynhart said.
This rumor resulted in students planning a “clown hunt” with hockey sticks and baseball bats, which was somewhat concerning, Rhynhart said.
“I think people, when they take a step back to think about it for a moment, a person wearing a clown costume is not an illegal act,” Rhynhart said. “What people should be concerned about and aware of are peoples’ behaviors. Is that person acting in a way that is threatening? Or is that person actually committing some type of crime?”
Rhynhart said that he does not want anyone to commit a crime against someone wearing a clown costume, because if a person does they will be held criminally responsible for assault.
“My guess is that it’s going to be a popular costume this Halloween and that before Halloween weekend there will be people that already have bought it and will think it’s a joke to wear it,” Rhynhart said. “In any situation whether they are wearing a clown costume or not, you can’t hide in the woods and jump out and scare people.”
Anyone dressed as a clown could be charged with breach of peace.