Clown sightings on campus

Clown outside the Student Center



About three weeks before the news of a clown using money in an attempt to lure children into the woods in Greenville County, S.C., there was a sighting of a clown holding four black balloons in Green Bay, W.I. on August 1st.  This clown now has an iconic nickname, Gags, along with a Twitter and Facebook page dedicated to him.

Sightings in Kenosha

These “creepy clown sightings” have happened not only in Green Bay, but now they are also appearing in Kenosha and on campus at UW-Parkside. Several reports have been made to the Kenosha Police Department about creepy clowns around town.

There have also been two separate incidents reported on campus of clowns harassing students and staff.

The first incident was reported on October 3rd at 10:17 p.m. around the University Apartments. A student dressed as a clown was apparently chasing other students around the University Apartments. The clown was located by campus police and then ticketed for Disorderly Conduct.

The second incident was reported on October 4th at 11:09 p.m. in Ranger Hall. A student alerted campus police to a clown chasing people outside the dorms and following them inside. A group of students were allegedly screaming in the Ranger Hall atrium around the same time the clown was sighted. Campus police were unable to locate the clown or the source of the noise complaint.

Student’s clown encounter

Alex Chanto, a senior music education major at UW-Parkside , encountered the first clown reported on campus. Chanto saw a twitter update at 8:48 p.m. from a user reporting a clown sighting at UW-Parkside. Chanto went with some friends outside of Ranger Hall to see if these allegations were true.

Between the Student Center and the Parkside Suites, Chanto saw the clown and managed to get a picture of it on his snapchat story.

Chanto’s stated, “After I took the picture, I walked the other way towards Ranger Hall. As I was posting the picture to my snapchat story, the police cars jumped the curb. They had their lights on and everything. She ripped her mask off and stood where she was.”

Chanto was able to see the clown’s face as they took off the mask. He believes it was a female no taller than 5’6”. Chanto also recounts that she was very quick on her feet, and that “She was chasing people like you would in a haunted house.”

After the encounter, Chanto said he believed, “[The clown] didn’t mean any harm from it to begin with, maybe, not sure, but the police have to be careful and take precautions. From a police officer’s standpoint, you don’t know. You don’t know [the clown’s] intentions, if there were weapons.”

Feeling safe on campus

UW-Parkside has a program called “Safewalk”. In the evenings, any person on campus can call and request someone to walk with them to whatever destination they need to arrive to on campus safely.

The Safewalk program is available by calling the University Police Department at (262) 595-2455 (just 2455 from an on-campus phone) or stopping by the Safe Walk table on the Main Concourse outside of the library entrance.

Photo credit: Alex Chanto

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