Phoenix-area man arrested for creepy clown threat that disrupted school

Oct 6, 2016, 3:53 PM
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)...
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix-area man has charged with several crimes for allegedly making creepy clown-related threats directed at a school.

The Avondale Police Department said Alonzo Vargas allegedly threatened Westview High School, located near Indian School Road and 107th Avenue, on social media. Police said the “school’s normal education process” was disrupted.

Police said the threats were uncovered by investigators who were looking into the rash of clown-related threats that have been occurring nationwide.

Vargas was charged with both felonies and misdemeanors related to disrupting an educational facility, threatening, intimidating and hoax.

Clown-related threats have been reported in multiple states over the past weeks, including some in Arizona.

Last week’s school threats in Mesa were linked to the clown phenomenon, though they were dismissed by police.

Two juveniles were charged in reference to the clown threats though. One got a disorderly conduct charge while the other juvenile was charged with false reporting to law enforcement.

The most famous cases are arguably reported in South Carolina, where children have told their parents that clowns are trying to lure them into the woods with candy.

At least one person in a creepy clown costume has been spotted in the Phoenix area.

Bailey, who did not give her last name, said she was taking the trash out in her apartment complex near 67th Avenue and the Loop 101 about 10 p.m. Monday when she saw a man in clown makeup watching her through the fence.

“On my way back, I saw somebody standing there,” she said. “It didn’t look like they were trying to get in the gate. I put my phone down and I didn’t even realize at first that it was a clown because that’s not what you’re expecting.”

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Phoenix-area man arrested for creepy clown threat that disrupted school