Police arrested the knife-wielding clown who terrorized a 16-year-old boy on a New York City subway last week.
Thomas Smith, 53, was taken into custody at around 8:45 p.m. on Oct. 13, hours after police released surveillance stills of the Oct. 5 incident showing Smith with clown makeup on and dressed in multicolored attire.
The Manhattan man was charged with menacing, according to a police bulletin.
“Menacing is no laughing matter,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce tweeted following the arrest.
Last week, a 16-year-old from New Jersey told police that he was on a northbound 6 train at the 96th Street Station at around 1:55 p.m when the clown stood in the doorway of the train and prevented straphangers from exiting.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 13, 2016
The teen said he ran past the clown, who proceeded to chase the him through the Upper East Side station. The young boy said when he ran past the turnstiles, he looked over his shoulders to see the man holding a kitchen knife.
In another incident on Thursday, Pennsylvania police arrested a 16-year-old girl who they said posted threatening clown messages on social media targeted towards area schools, reported the Berks Regional News.
The unidentified girl had intended for the messages to result in school closures, police said.
“These are very serious offenses,” said Berks County District Attorney John Adams. “Our educational system can not tolerate the receipt of these types of threats. This is a disruption to the schools.”
Adams added, “We will not tolerate young people making threats towards schools.”
She is currently being held in a juvenile detention center, and has since been charged with the following:
- terroristic threats with the intent to terrorize another;
- terroristic threats with intent to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation;
- terroristic threats with intent to cause serious public inconvenience or cause terror;
- criminal use of a communications facility;
- disorderly conduct engage in fighting or threatening, or in violent tumultuous behavior;
- and false alarms to agencies of public safety.
The recent arrests comes amid a spate of threatening clown sightings across the globe. What began in the Carolinas in late August has now made its way to Australia, Canada, and Britain.