GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Green Bay Police say a teenager posting as a clown on Facebook Sunday is facing charges for making phony threats to ten area schools.
The post was shared several hundred times and has since been removed, but it vaguely stated, “schools that we will be targeting on Monday, October 10th, 2016,” and listed Green Bay Southwest, East, West and Preble high schools; De Pere and West De Pere high schools; and Green Bay’s Washington, Franklin, Lombardi and Edison middle schools.
Investigators worked through the night until they found the student — and determined it was a hoax.
“This investigation is less than 24-hours-old. I can tell you that the person will be held accountable for their actions. The exact charges are unknown at this time, but there are charges out there that may or may not be applicable to this that will be referred to juvenile intake,” said Green Bay Police Captain Kevin Warych.
The police increased their presence at those schools Monday morning, and the districts involved emailed parents of students—explaining the prank and ensuring their safety. Action 2 News talked to police who said they had to overextend their resources overnight making sure that students were safe.
“There were parents all around the school, almost like a perimeter around the school and so I went up and I said, ‘what are you guys doing here?’ – ‘well, there’s the clown threat’ – so we have all the parents come in and they’re going to stay around the school all day,” said Police Chief Andrew Smith. “At two o’clock in the morning, I get a text or I get an email from [the investigator] saying, ‘hey everybody, I figured out who it is, it’s this kid,’ and he was able to determine who it is. And of course, we’ll submit that kid’s name for prosecution later because you can’t be doing stuff like that.”
“This clown phenomenon—whatever you want to call it—is really popping up not only here in Green Bay but throughout the nation. And it’s really causing a lot of people some headaches. And we had to call in a detective that worked throughout the night to identify this person so that Monday morning, each parent of a child not only here in Green Bay—but De Pere as well—feels safe.”
Police want everyone to realize that threats are serious.
“So this could be a good learning experience for all parents out there to have a conversation with their children about their Facebook, about their Snapchat, about their Instagram, whatever social media sites their kids use, they need to be intimately involved with that,” Warych said.
The juvenile’s name will not be released because the student is only thirteen years old. Green bay and De Pere school districts did not want to comment on this story, calling it “a police matter.”