Clowns sighted in Tyler according to social media users, authorities investigate claims

Published on Tuesday, 4 October 2016 17:29 - Written by

CORY MCCOY, comccoy@tylerpaper.com

Social media users all over East Texas are reporting clown sightings.

The sightings come in the wake of an arrest in Van Zandt County after a clown on social media made threats toward Grand Saline schools, according to the Grand Saline Police Department.

On Tuesday, social media users began reporting an Instagram post by a user named “EtxKillerClowns” claiming to be at John Tyler High School.

Tyler ISD Communications Director Dawn Parnell said the district’s police department investigated the claims and the campus was all clear.

Tyler ISD released the following statement:

"Due to the rise in unusual activity of 'clown sightings' across the nation, the Tyler ISD Police Department is watching and monitoring our campuses and school surroundings as a proactive measure to keep students safe. As always, student and staff safety is our first priority."

The Tyler Paper has reached out to Tyler Junior College and The University of Texas at Tyler after finding online accounts of students who claimed they were chased by clowns on both campuses on Monday night. Their claims have not been verified.

Beverley Golden, marketing and communications director at UT Tyler, said the campus police department had not received any official reports of harassment.

The Tyler Junior College Police Department also said they had not received any calls.

The Tyler Police Department released the following statement Tuesday:

"Tyler Police Department is aware of recent social media posts of a clown photo that has mentioned a local high school in its post. The photo has been determined to be a copied photo that has been circulated on the internet and not a photo that has been taken locally.

"Our department has been in contact with Tyler Independent School District police in reference to this post and will report any further information that becomes available to them.

"At this time, all reports to law enforcement concerning any clown activity have been associated with social media.

"We caution anyone from participating in these type of activities to prevent any type of personal injury or potential criminal charges that may occur from the incident."

Twitter: @TMT_Cory