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Sheriff’s Office Investigates Clown Postings Involving School

Published: 10/6/2016

For More Information Contact:

Captain John Watterson, 845-486-3860                     

The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office reports the investigation into suspicious social media postings referencing Arlington High School by people posing as clowns. The offenders have been identified, and at this time the students are safe and there appears to be no threat to Arlington High School or any other school.  

During the evening of 10/5/16 the Sheriff’s Office became aware of two separate social media postings – one on Instagram and the other on Twitter – which referenced Arlington High School. The postings both pictured someone in a clown mask, and neither one directly threatened the school but insinuated that there may be a problem there on Thursday 10/6/16. The Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau then became involved in the investigation and was able to identify two people responsible for the postings; one is a teenage female Arlington student and the other is the 23-year-old brother of a different Arlington student (who had no involvement). At this time the Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the Arlington Central School District on this matter, and the investigation is continuing. Criminal charges are being considered however none have been filed thus far, and at this time there appears to be no credible threat to the school. 

As stated in a previous press release the vast majority of “creepy clown” incidents are pranks fueled by the internet and social media, and this incident is the latest example of that. With that being said let today’s incident also serve as an example to those wishing to play these pranks that they will be fully investigated, identified, and held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Law enforcement doesn’t consider these pranks to be funny jokes, and will utilize every resource at its disposal to identify those responsible and hold them accountable. 

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work closely with Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response and the Arlington Central School District, and more information may be released as it becomes available.