Student arrested for clown threats to Bucks County schools

    (image via Bensalem Police Department)

    (image via Bensalem Police Department)

    Police in Bucks County have arrested a 12-year-old student for allegedly posting threats via a “BENSALEM clowns” Instagram account against two township middle schools.

    The post included emojis of a gun, knife, and hypodermic needle and warned “BENSALEM CLOWN we are coming shafer and Snyder Tick Tock,” Bensalem police said.

    “This post caused alarm for many students and parents in the community and led to increased police activity around the schools,” Lt. William McVey said. “Bensalem police have determined that this threat of violent clowns was not a viable threat, and no students or staff were ever in danger. Bensalem police will continue to have a strong presence in and around the Bensalem School District facilities.”

    The child will be charged with terroristic threats and harassment, as well as school district discipline, McVey said. He urged anyone with information about the clown threats to call police at (215) 633-3719.

    It was the township’s second clown threat — but not the first in the region.

    Philadelphia police identified a 13-year-old girl who allegedly posted a clown threat on Instagram earlier this week. When questioned, she told police she and a friend posted the threat as a prank. She was not charged. The incident got a City Council aide in trouble, though, when he proposed on Facebook that adults ensure school safety through vigilantism.

    Several teenagers in South Jersey also have been charged with making clown threats.

    Concerns about killer clowns have swept the nation in recent weeks, but no clown-related violence has unfolded.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal