By Samantha Smith
Texas State University police are continuing to investigate an assault of a student by a man dressed as a clown that occurred Oct. 3.
The incident is one of many similar reports and sightings of “creepy clowns” that are taking place across the country, which has raised concerns from citizens.
According to the university, the suspect in the Oct. 3 incident grabbed the victim outside of the Bobcat Village apartments, with the victim pulling away and leaving the scene.
The suspect, who is approximately 6’2” with an athletic build, was observed wearing a clown costume that was described as a black-and-white striped jumpsuit. The suspect was wearing a green wig and had their face painted white with black around the eyes.
According to a report from FOX 7 News, there have been a total of 4 creepy clown sightings in Central Texas as of Oct. 4, including the incident in San Marcos.
Sightings have been reported in Manor, Bastrop and Round Rock, according to the report.
The phenomena has extended to social media, where several school districts, including Hays CISD, have investigated “creepy clown” threats.
Hays CISD officials on Sept. 30 investigated a “creepy clown” incident at Lehman High, which was later determined to be a hoax.
But so far, area law enforcement have not experienced or received creepy clown reports in the area.
Buda Police Chief Bo Kidd said there have not been any reports of creepy clown sightings in Buda.
Jeff Barnett, Kyle Police Department chief, said KPD hasn’t received any reports of creepy clowns. However, Barnett encourages Kyle residents to take the matter seriously.
“If we (KPD) receive reports of any suspicious behavior we will take appropriate action based on the merit of each call,” Barnett said.
Barnett added that it is not against any state or federal laws to dress in a clown suit and walk around. He said individuals doing so are not in violation of any law unless they engage in physical unwanted contact with someone else, which would be considered assault.
“I want to encourage people to be smart and not put themselves in a position where they could be hurt or where they could hurt others,” Barnett said.
Lt. Dennis Gutierrez, public information officer for the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, said there have been no reports of any creepy clown sightings in Hays County.
Other entities are taking a proactive approach toward addressing the phenomena.
Wimberley ISD Superintendent Dwain York sent an email to parents on Thursday October 6 reassuring them that there have been no creepy clown threats against the district.
In his letter, York addressed student rumors of creepy clowns and put them to rest.
“To date, WISD has had NO such threats made via phone, letter or any form of social media,” said York in the letter.
York added the safety and security of students is the distric’s top priority. However, he also encourage parents to speak with children if they see or suspect suspicious behavior.
“Whether threats are made against an individual or an entire school campus, such threats are a serious manner,” York said in his letter. He later added, “Threatening schools is a criminal matter, and the police and our district take these situations very seriously.”