Tag Archives: Florida

Unanswered Phone Call Leads to Attempted Fourth Amendment Violation by Florida Police

The following post and accompanying videos were shared with the CopBlock Network by a man named Tony, who did not want to give his last name, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

According to the description, police attempted to force their way into Tony’s house because his phone had died and his ex, who wanted to speak to their son, was unable to reach him for an hour. In an attempt to do so, Officer Gordy had blocked the door from closing with her foot.

The officers from the Coral Springs Police Department wanted to perform a welfare check and speak to his son, even though Tony maintains that the ex had not made any sort of specific complaint about a possible danger to his son, outside of being unable to reach them by phone. In addition, his son and the ex were at that time talking on the phone, therefore even that issue had already been resolved.

If you have a video, personal story involving police misconduct and/or abuse, or commentary about a law enforcement related news story, we would be happy to have you submit it. You can find some advice on how to get your submission published on the CopBlock Network within this post.

Date Of Incident: November 25, 2016
Department Involved: Coral Springs (FL) Police Department
Officers Involved: Officer Gordy Badge #945, Officer Crawford Badge #753, and Sergeant Hubbard Badge #788
Department Facebook Profile: Coral Springs Police
Department Twitter Account: @CoralSpringsPD
Department Youtube Channel: Coral Springs Police

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I missed a phone call from my ex. She reported that to the police. My phone was dead. By the time they arrived, she was on the phone talking to my son, which was the purpose of her initial call. Though she is an unreasonable person, I’m used to it, and I was mainly alarmed at how the cops responded to a reported missed phone call. Officer Gordy thought she could enter my home and inspect my son. She stuck her foot in my door when I attempted to close it and held it there until her supervisor arrived.

– Tony

Retired Chicago Cop, “Medal of Valor” Winner, Arrested for Burning Homeless Man’s Tent and Belongings

A man who was arrested for arson after he burned the tent and personal belongings of an area homeless man is a retired Chicago police officer. In fact, Sergeant James R. Povolo, much like a slew of other violent cops that have been exposed as criminals, was a former award winning officer.

Although the exact reason for his recognition is unknown (because the Chicago Police Department attempted to hide the fact that he was once one of their Good Cops), the Naperville Sun confirmed, via a FOIA request, that he was recipient of the department’s “Medal of Valor,” which is awarded for acts of “heroism, personal courage, and devotion to duty” by police officers.

The case he stands accused of currently is decidedly unheroic, though. Although investigators haven’t provided any motive for his actions, the victim was an outspoken and well known activist and political protester who has been involved in a long standing battle with the government officials in Naperville.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

In the Naperville case, Povolo was arrested less than two weeks after the alleged arson. Prosecutors said he approached Huber’s tent at a time he knew Huber would not be there and set fire to it, reportedly with a cigarette. Police have offered no motive for Povolo’s alleged action and have not disclosed what information prompted them to arrest Povolo.

(Scott) Huber, 66, lost his two-tent encampment and most of his possessions in the blaze. At the time, he said he was most distressed about the destruction of numerous computer discs on which he had stored what he said was the history of his political struggles with Naperville officials, police and local judges.

He has battled Naperville authorities for about 20 years, ever since losing his electronics business and being evicted from his home. He is protesting what he says has been unfair and illegal treatment by authorities.

Povolo’s next court hearing is March 1. The terms of his bond were modified last month so he could travel from his Naperville home in the 1300 block of Dartford Court to his Key Colony Beach home in Florida, where he is a legal resident and where he winters from fall to spring, according to court records. Under the original terms, he could not leave the state without permission from Judge Liam C. Brennan, who is presiding over his trial.

“Defendant (Povolo), because of injuries sustained while employed ‘on the job’ as a police officer for the City of Chicago, has artificial knees, and does not well tolerate cold weather,” Povolo’s attorney Charles Dobra wrote in his petition.

Admittedly, it would be a shame if Povolo had to face the cold unprotected within his Illinois summer home, rather than being afforded the warmth of his winter home in Florida, just because he intentionally and maliciously destroyed the shelter and most of the personal belongings of another man for no apparent reason. He is a Medal of Valor winner, after all.

Fort Lauderdale Police Issued Parking Tickets to Car With Dead Man Inside it for Four Days

For four days, Jacob Morpeau’s dead body sat inside an SUV on a Fort Lauderdale street and during that time parking enforcement officers continuously added parking tickets to the windshield of his car. Two of the tickets were written within three minutes of each other and one of the “meter maids” cited the car for two expired meters, because the vehicle’s front end was extended slightly into the space in front of it.

The Revenue Generation fest may have continued indefinitely if a woman, who happened to walk past, hadn’t become curious about the stack of tickets attached to the SUV. That curiosity led Carolyn White to actually look inside the car, something that apparently had never occurred to any of the parking enforcement officers in all that time. That’s when she saw Morpeau slumped over in the driver’s seat.

Via the Sun-Sentinel:

The Isuzu was parked on the north side of Southeast Sixth Street, west of Federal Highway near the Savor Cinema, according to copies of the tickets the city provided.

Two of the tickets were written within three minutes, and just six hours before White saw Morpeau’s body inside the SUV. The same parking officer cited the Isuzu for two expired meters, perhaps because the SUV’s front end was in part of the next parking space.

White said about seeing the tickets and looking into the car, “I was being nosy. I never let the meter man catch me. I never got a parking ticket and I wanted to know why somebody else got caught. And that’s what made me look inside.”

fl-lauderdale-dead-man-parking-ticketsShe said she saw a walker in the back seat of the Isuzu and was curious about why someone who needed it would leave it behind. And, she said, she wonders why a parking officer didn’t see what she saw.

“I can understand why the meter person probably didn’t see him from the driver’s side,” said White, who had been parked nearby, waiting for a friend who had business at the courthouse.

“He was underneath the steering wheel, his head was in the middle of the seat, between the two seats,” White said. “But you could see him on the passenger’s side. That’s how I seen him, from the sidewalk.”

After White’s discovery, she said her screams in the middle of Sixth Street drew Kevin McGoey, owner of Kevin’s Bail Bonds, from his business’ green cottage that is across Sixth Street from where the Isuzu was parked. His staff called 911, he said.

“It was sad,” McGoey said. “The guy was probably sitting there all weekend.”

The City of Fort Lauderdale was considerate enough to dismiss the parking tickets after Mr. Morpeau’s inability to properly feed the meters was established.


Opposing Candidate’s Lawsuit: Pinellas County Sheriff Robert Gualtieri Hiding Incriminating Public Records

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by James McLynas, a candidate for sheriff in Pinellas County, Florida. In the post, which was shared via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page, McLynas discusses a lawsuit he has filed which accuses current Sheriff Robert Gualtieri, whom he is running against in the upcoming election, of hiding incriminating information contained within public records in violation of the Florida Open Records Laws.

The post was originally published at James McLynas’ personal campaign website under the title, “Pinellas County Sheriff Robert Gualtieri Sued for Hiding Incriminating Records From Opposing Candidate.

10-20-2016 – Pinellas County Florida:

On October 20, 2016, Pinellas County Sheriff Candidate James McLynas filed a lawsuit against current Sheriff Robert Gualtieri and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) for intentionally refusing to provide public records to McLynas in violation of Florida Open Records Laws and the Florida Constitution.

The suit enumerates several allegations and was filed by prominent attorney Jerry Theophilopoulo (also known as Jerry “T”). Those factual allegations include:

  • That the PCSO and Sheriff Gualtieri targeted McLynas for retribution after McLynas filed multiple legitimate complaints against PCSO deputies.
  • That Sheriff Gualtieri and the PCSO also had McLynas falsely arrested on multiple bogus charges to silence McLynas shortly after McLynas threatened to run for Sheriff in 2013 to expose Gualtieri’s corruption.
  • That in order to hide the specific records that evidenced Gualtieri’s personal involvement in the false arrest of McLynas, Sheriff Gualtieri and the PCSO implemented new and unique public records policies ONLY for McLynas to prevent him from obtaining those records he requested that incriminate Gualtieri.
  • That the PCSO literally posted a “WANTED” type poster with McLynas’ confidential driver’s license records (a crime) barring McLynas (and only McLynas) from being able to access the PCSO record’s department in clear violation of Florida Statute Title X, Chapter 119 and the Florida Constitution.
  • That PCSO and their lawyers lied to McLynas in writing that “no records existed” when McLynas asked for specific records regarding PCSO’s illegal Stingray cellphone surveillance used on McLynas, when the records did in fact exist and were created by PCSO during the illegal Stingray surveillance.
  • That Sheriff Gualtieri and the PCSO would try and charge McLynas a “transparency tax” by lumping multiple separate records requests together and then intentionally overcharging McLynas sometimes thousands of dollars and not allowing McLynas to see ANY of the records he individually requested unless he paid for ALL of them.
  • That PCSO also made up huge bills for fees for multiple records requests without providing McLynas with the “one free hour” of records processing time per request that everyone else is provided.
  • That under the direction of Gualtieri, many of McLynas’ records requests were literally ignored and not properly responded to as is required under Title X, Chapter 119 records laws. These records have still not been provided sometimes years later.

The suit also alleges that Gualtieri and the PCSO refused to provide these records to prevent McLynas from using the damaging documents in the upcoming Sheriff’s election where McLynas and Gaultieri are the only two candidates.

Included with the lawsuit are over 50 pages of exhibits and documents proving the allegations, including numerous emails from the Sheriff’s department literally saying and doing the things they are accused of right in the emails and exhibits.

Under Title X, Chapter 119, Sheriff Gualtieri can also be charged with criminal penalties, suspended and removed or impeached if it is determined that he knowingly violated these laws while withholding the public records from Candidate McLynas. There is also a $500 per occurrence fine, which would add up to well over $100,000 in this case.

However, there are larger issues here that should concern ALL citizens of Pinellas County and even the State of Florida:

  • Did a Sheriff retaliate against an innocent man as retaliation for reporting deputy misconduct?
  • Did Sheriff Gualtieri then have McLynas falsely arrested after McLynas pushed back threatening to run for Sheriff to expose Gualtieri?
  • Is this an example of an incumbent Sheriff having his opposing candidate falsely arrested to destroy the political opposition?

It seems pretty clear that Sheriff Gualtieri went through some extraordinary lengths to prevent McLynas from seeing these records that McLynas says will prove Gualtieri’s personal involvement in the vendetta and political sabotage of McLynas.

Why would Sheriff Gualtieri take such a personal interest in a mere records request, or enact so many new policies directed specifically at McLynas if the records showed nothing at all? The answer to that is; he wouldn’t have. Gualtieri would not have tried so hard to conceal those records and violate Florida law to hide them if they were harmless. Those records still have not been produced by Gualtieri.

Even if only half of what McLynas and his lawyer have alleged in the lawsuit is true, Gualtieri does not need to remain Sheriff of Pinellas County and instead should be sitting in the same jail cell he tried to put McLynas in for running against him.

COPY OF LAWSUIT: https://www.scribd.com/document/328327343/Pinellas-County-Sheriff-Robert-Gualtieri-Sued-for-Hiding-Incriminating-Records-From-Opposing-Candidate

COPY OF EXHIBITS A-L: https://www.scribd.com/document/328333331/Pcso-Exhibits-a-l

COPY OF EXHIBITS M-W: https://www.scribd.com/document/328333484/Pcso-Exhibits-M-W

– James McLynas


Florida Policeman Pleads Guilty To Firing Gun at Another Cop; Tampering With Evidence in Road Rage Incident

Miami-Dade Police Officer Jonathan Lang has agreed to plead guilty to shooting at another car during a road rage incident in July 2014. The other car, which Lang had cut off prior to firing a gunshot into the back of their car, was driven by Miami-Dade Corrections Officer Georgina Illa.

Via NBC 6 Miami:

Lang’s story started when corrections officer Georgina Illa said a driver in a white car cut her off on the Turnpike near Southwest 153rd Street. Illa said as she went to pass the car, someone threw out a cup of some liquid and then pulled out a gun and shot.

The bullet went through Illa’s taillight, through her trunk, and then lodged in the rear seat of the car. Illa said she flagged down an officer driving nearby, who then pulled the suspect’s car over. Illa said she also stopped and that’s when one of the officers on the scene told her a Miami-Dade Police Officer fired his gun.

After the accident and before his van was searched, Lang showed up to the impound yard, opened the door to his van, and took the gun. The gun was never found, although he was caught on surveillance camera taking it. (That video can be viewed below.)

Via NBC 6 Miami:

In the surveillance video, first obtained by NBC 6, a white Mazda SUV that authorities say was being driven by Lang arrives at an tow truck lot in South Miami-Dade just two hours and 35 minutes after Lang signed a document giving the investigating FHP sergeant the legal consent to search the vehicle.

And just 11 minutes later, a man wearing a baseball cap shows up and the lights flash on the car. FHP officials said it indicates he had the remote, and he quickly opens the passenger door, grabs something and exits.

The FHP trooper wrote in his request for a search warrant: “The unidentified subject removed an unknown item…and ran east bound through the…parking lot. There is reasonable evidence the vehicle was accessed by persons known to Mr. Lang.”

The FHP officer believes the property taken from the vehicle was the firearm and it was returned to Lang in order to conceal the evidence, the request reads.

When the investigating trooper did get the warrant to return to the car his records show he found ammunition but no weapon.

While the photos show pictures of weapons from Lang’s cellphone obtained in a search warrant for his house, once inside troopers receipts show there were weapons but not the elusive one, the one FHP believes was taken from the SUV at his moment we can now see.

The obvious question, of course, is why he was not in jail that soon after the incident and therefore able to go down and remove evidence from the vehicle. Just as obviously, that’s really only a rhetorical question, since he’s a cop and the normal rules involving violent criminals don’t actually apply.

On Tuesday (October 25th), Officer Lang accepted a plea deal in which he pled guilty to discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle, assault and tampering with evidence. The exact terms of the deal were not announced, but it is expected to result in a very firm slap on the wrist. (Of course, that’s not a sure thing because he shot at another cop, but the odds are still good.)

Local Media Coverage:

Florida Cop Allowed to Remain on Force After 2009 DUI Found Passed Out In Car In Middle of Street

Officer Anthony Mathew Green of the St. Petersburg Police Dept. was allowed to retain his job in exchange for promising to abstain from drinking for five years after being convicted of DUI in 2009. In that incident Officer Green not only ran into multiple cars but also fled the scene.

He apparently managed to keep clean for those five years or at the very least to avoid getting caught, but two years after that commitment expired he was right back in the alcohol-soaked saddle again. This time he was found passed out and literally asleep at the wheel in his car on a local street.

Via the St. Petersburgh Times:

St. Petersburg police Officer Anthony Mathew Green, 36, was found asleep behind the wheel of his personal car, stopped in the middle of the southbound lane of Gulf Boulevard at Madeira Way in Madeira Beach, just before 11 p.m. Monday.

Green was immediately suspended without pay, Police Chief Anthony Holloway said at a news conference Tuesday.

Green will go through an internal investigation and the court system before the chief makes a decision about his job. If he’s convicted, Holloway said, “I can tell you he’s not going to be here.”

“He was out there drinking again, and we’re not going to tolerate it again,” the chief said.

In an arrest report, Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies wrote that Green’s eyes were glossy and balance unsteady, and he refused to take a sobriety test or blow to have his blood alcohol-level tested.

People arrested on DUI charges who refuse to blow are automatically suspended from driving for a year, Holloway said.

Green was booked by 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and held on $500 bail.

He was off Monday, but normally patrols the southern parts of St. Petersburg during the day.

According to investigators: In Green’s first DUI charge from December 2009, he was trying to pass a vehicle near the 3500 block of Fourth Street. Instead, he drove over a raised concrete median and struck a sedan. He kept driving north on Fourth and hit another vehicle at 38th Avenue N. Again, he didn’t stop.

No one was injured in either crash, but Green was tested to have 0.179 and 0.173 blood-alcohol levels, more than twice the legal limit allowed for Florida drivers.

After he was convicted on one count of driving under the influence and one count of leaving the scene of the accident, Green agreed to abstain from alcohol for five years. He was randomly tested for drug or alcohol use, according to his personnel file. He was also suspended from work for six weeks and had a restricted driver’s license for six months that limited him to only drive during work, allowing him to continue his duties as a patrol officer.

He also agreed to “no violations of alcohol or criminal activity,” according to his personnel file.

During Green’s court proceedings, he was on administrative leave, but a new policy Holloway created this week makes it so any officer who is arrested cannot get paid while the case moves through due process.

“He’s not going to sit at home and collect his salary,” Holloway said.

The officer can get back pay if found not guilty and to have not broken police policy.

It’s interesting that Officer Green was given just a $500 bail for a second DUI, especially under the circumstances. I highly doubt anyone else working in a job in which driving is an integral part would have gotten that low of a bail or that “second chance” in the first place. That’s especially true when their job also involves arresting other people for driving drunk. Not to mention that for six months he was driving around without a driver’s license and pulling over people for traffic infractions, no doubt including DUI’s.

However, I will say that their policy of suspending officers without pay rather than giving them the typical paid vacation when they face criminal charges is a small step in the right direction down there in St. Petersburg.

Despite Arrests the “Threat” from Creepy, Scary Clowns has Spread and Multiplied Across the United States

I’ve previously reported on the harrowing and expanding threat that clowns have begun to represent to this country and citizens throughout it. Fortunately, my warnings did not go unheeded and not long ago South Carolina Police Chief Ken Miller promised to get tough on clowns. In order to do so, he indicated he would begin enforcing a law that was already on the books against wearing masks in public. (technically clown makeup isn’t a mask, but you can’t engage in semantics at a time like this.)

Initially, this policy that effectively outlawed clowns seemed to have made some important headway. As fellow CopBlock Network contributor Joshua Hotchkin reported a couple weeks ago, four arrests were made across two states soon after. For a brief moment, the country was able to breathe a sigh of relief, believing that the Great Clown Invasion of 2016 had been thwarted. Predictably, that didn’t last long, though.

That was far from the end of it, as we all know now. Since those initial arrests there have been at least eight more of these painted tormentors have been hauled in on various charges across numerous states. More troubling, the sightings of menacing clowns have not stopped, but in fact have multiplied and spread to at least ten states nationwide.

Another very troubling detail to have emerged within the latest sightings is that the majority of these clowns are reported be driving vans. You might ask yourself what is so dangerous about that and, on the surface, it’s a reasonable question. However, anybody who has been to the circus knows that clowns can use their magical powers to fit at least a dozen of their cohorts into a really tiny car. Just imagine how many clowns are hiding out in something as big as a van. There might be hundreds in there just waiting to spring out and lay waste to your neighborhood. Hell, three or four of them vans would be all they need to overrun a small town.

Check out this report from the New York Times:

The reports to the police had one thing in common with the circus act involving an improbable number of clowns emerging from a small car.

They just kept coming, and coming, and coming, across multiple states. Clowns in vans. Clowns in the woods.

Clowns lurking in the shadows. Clowns chasing people or doing crimes.

Just let that sink in for a minute. What hope is there to stop such a relentless, determined group of pseudo humans bent on destroying society as we know it?

Obviously, the other side of this threat is the speed at which these clowns are able to reproduce. Anybody who has ever worked around Carnies or attended a Ren Faire, the two groups most likely to have been recruited by the Clown Army, has surely glimpsed some aspect of this phenomenon. Both of those sub-genres are known for engaging in 24 hour orgies that only stop (sometimes) when it’s time to perform their drunken acts on some sort of makeshift stage.

Suspected Clown Arrested

Suspected Clown Arrested

There are perilous times ahead for sure. An entire school in Reading, Ohio had to be locked down after a woman reported a clown related attack. One day prior in a nearby town, a young clown was arrested for making threats to school children. Fortunately, the Heroes in Blue protecting Colerain Township were able to nip that one in the bud before it reached full maturity.

Since they originally emerged from their lair in South Carolina, other clown sightings have been reported in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and even on the West Coast in California. Luckily, in Maryland a known and longstanding gang of clowns, who were brazen enough to flaunt themselves at public events, has been forced by the publicity to withdraw from such activities. We can score one for the good guys out there.

That’s obviously just a minor dent in their numbers, though. Earlier this week, several of the Clowns even released a Facebook Live video mocking their pursuers:

Sadly, before I conclude this latest update I even have to report that this scourge upon ‘Merica has very much hit home for me. Last night, KTNV News, the local ABC affiliate for Southern Nevada, reported that a clown had been trying to “friend” students from Chaparral, a Las Vegas high school.

This is dangerous on several levels. First, it’s near me and so that makes it important. Possibly even more troubling though, this means they are learning to use social media. Once these clowns start organizing on the internets, they’ll pretty much become unstoppable. We should all accept that this is probably just a matter of time, at this point.

Fortunately, ABC 7 in Denver is reporting that the FBI and Homeland Security have finally become involved. (The article also includes a handy timeline of the Clown Invasion.) Hopefully, this not a case of too little, too late already. Obviously, this is the (no-clown) human race’s best chance of surviving. “Help us Homeland Security, you’re our only hope!”

Send thoughts and prayers.

Update: White House Secret Service Agent Caught in Online Pedophile Sting Sent to Florida for Trial

Last year, CopBlock Network contributor

Now he’s been moved to Florida to face the first in a series of trials in a related, but separate case. Although details are being kept “on the downlow,” he is accused of trying to lure an underage girl in West Palm Beach into having sex with him.

Via the Sun-Sentinel.com:

Moore was indicted on three federal charges of attempted production of child pornography, attempted receipt of child pornography and using a computer to persuade, entice or coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity between January and May 2014.

Moore, who worked as a uniformed Secret Service officer based at the White House, has been locked up since he was arrested in November on a related federal charge in Delaware.

Moore “sought to use mobile technology to sexually exploit multiple minor, teenage girls from one of the most secure places on the planet. He did so while in the presence of other highly trained law enforcement officers and just yards from the President of the United States, his family, and senior administration officials he was then protecting. … The brazen and self-absorbed nature of his conduct is simply breathtaking,” federal prosecutors wrote.

Moore was recently moved to the Palm Beach County Jail after the Federal Public Defender’s Office, which represents him, announced that he wanted to face the most serious allegations against him first in Florida.

“The charges brought against Mr. Moore in the Southern District of Florida are much more serious than the charge pending against Mr. Moore in the District of Delaware. Mr. Moore would like to resolve his case in the Southern District of Florida prior to resolving the case pending against him in the District of Delaware,” his lawyers wrote.

Moore, who now has a beard, was dressed in dark blue jail scrubs and was handcuffed and shackled during his brief court appearance Tuesday. He spoke only briefly with U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Brannon and is expected to remain locked up while both federal cases are pending. No trial dates have been scheduled yet.

Investigators said Moore, who is married with children and lived in Maryland before his arrest, was communicating with at least two undercover officers and at least two minors, according to court records in the Delaware case. When he was questioned, investigators said Moore estimated he was talking to about 10 individuals he believed were underage girls.

Federal prosecutors in Delaware said Moore, whose duties included guarding the White House, frequently engaged in online sex chats while he was supposed to be working.

Investigators said that, in one chat, Moore asked an undercover officer he thought was a 14-year-old girl to send him something “exciting” because “work sucks today.” He was checking IDs for people entering the White House complex that day, according to court records.

In another online conversation, he sent a photograph of his penis to one of the undercover officers who was posing as a teenage girl, according to court records. In another, he sent a non-explicit video of himself in uniform from the White House, authorities said.

Moore also destroyed digital evidence of his misconduct after he found out he was under investigation and was about to be arrested, according to federal prosecutors and agents from Homeland Security Investigations.

He learned of the investigation when officials from the Secret Service went to his home and told him he was being suspended, in violation of how prosecutors and investigators had asked the Secret Service to handle the matter, according to court documents.

Those last two paragraphs are rather interesting. Instead of doing what the prosecutors asked them to, the Good Agents at the Secret Service went to Moore’s house and effectively tipped him off that he was being investigated and would be arrested soon. Moore made good use of that information by attempting to destroy the evidence of his creepy behavior.

Update: South Carolina Police Chief Declares Clowns Illegal, Vows to Arrest Any Sighted; Threat Spreads to North Carolina, Ohio

Last week, I reported on the dangerous, laser wielding clowns that have pretty much done nothing but (reportedly) stand around wooded areas flashing wads of cash in South Carolina. Since then, there have been several developments and the clowns seem to be both multiplying in number and spreading to other areas. Among those developments are one in which a clown may have actually threatened a child and one in which a (possibly innocent) clown was threatened with a machete.

In South Carolina, Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller held a press conference declaring that they are taking this “very seriously” and that anyone spotted dressed as a clown would be arrested based on a law which makes it illegal to wear masks. This clown prohibition was justified by additional recent scary clown sightings that have occurred since the original reports. Since such mask bans are rarely enforced, Chief Miller’s clown ban does bring up some legal questions of selective enforcement and profiling by law enforcement.

Via TheState.com:

“It’s illegal. It’s dangerous. It’s inappropriate, and it’s creating community concern so it needs to stop,” MIller said.

Police have responded to four clown-related calls since Monday, two of which occurred at Shemwood Crossing Apartments. Another was reported on Deoyley Avenue in the Pleasant Valley community Tuesday afternoon.

In the most recent sighting Wednesday night, officers responded to Park Haywood Apartments on Congaree Road after a woman reported seeing a middle-aged white man in clown-like facial makeup and red hair standing outside the laundromat. The woman told police the clown stared at her as she walked out but didn’t speak to or follow her.

The Sheriff’s Office has received two documented reports of clowns appearing in Greenville County on Aug. 19 and Aug. 29, said Master Deputy Ryan Flood.

In addition, Police Chief Lance Crowe of the Travelers Rest Police Department reported that they had two more reported clown sightings at an apartment complex. One sighting was claimed to have happened at a building number which turned out to not actually exist once officers investigated. The other creepy clown was supposedly seen in an area outside the same apartment complex. However, when officers responded several people standing outside at that location claimed to not have seen any clowns that day.

Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller announces that clowns will be arrested on sight

Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller announces that clowns will be arrested on sight.

It’s unclear at this point if police suspect the clowns of having some sort of magical powers that would enable them to make entire buildings disappear, render themselves temporarily invisible, or wipe out the memories of witnesses through some sort of hypnosis. I also haven’t been able to get local police to comment on whether they suspect some of the people they encountered standing outside may in reality be clowns disguising themselves as regular people in order to throw them off. At this point, it’s unclear if Chief Crowe will be instituting his own clown ban as a result of these sightings.

Chief Miller is not at this time sure if this is a case of the same clowns being sighted multiple times or if they have worked out some sort of schedule in which different clowns rotate in and out. Also according to Miller, the one thing that all of the clown sightings have shared is that none of the clowns have made any attempt to communicate with anyone, outside of some potential signals with their lasers. Instead, they just stand in an area where they can be seen from a distance and “watch the reaction of individuals.”

However, a reported clown sighting in Ohio last week is the first known sighting involving some sort of documented claim of a physical attack by the clowns. A kid on his way to school was allegedly chased by a knife wielding clown and only escaped after throwing a rock at his masked assailant. Although, there’s an obvious connection in timing to the South Carolina incidents, there has also been some speculation that this may be a rogue clown, who plays by his own rules.

Via the New York Daily News:

Either a creepy clown has broken from the pack — or there’s a brand new one.

A 14-year-old Columbus, Ohio boy on his way to school Tuesday morning was chased by a black-clad man wielding a knife and wearing a clown mask, NBC News reported.

The petrified boy was able to get away from the freak by hurling a rock at him and running to a bus stop, police said, noting that officers were canvassing the area Thursday afternoon.

The boy got to school and immediately reported the incident to his teachers but no arrests had been made as of Friday morning.

Denise Alex-Bouzounis, a spokeswoman for the Columbus Police Department stated that they are too are taking this clown menace very seriously. (Once again, there was no immediate announcement of a clown ban similar to Greenville’s, however.)

Meanwhile, in North Carolina a man reportedly turned the tables on the clowns, chasing one back into the woods with a machete after yet another sighting near an apartment complex in Greensboro.

Via the New York Daily News:

A witness told police that a person wearing a scary clown mask, red curly wig, yellow dotted shirt, blue clown pants and clown shoes exited the woods by an apartment complex around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Another witness chased down the clown with a machete, but was unable to catch up to it before it disappeared into the woods.

Officers searched the area but couldn’t find anyone matching the clown’s description, Greensboro Police told the Daily News, and suspect this might be a copycat effort after similar reports over the past week.

A clown was seen in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Monday trying to lure children into the forest with treats.

Most of the clowns seem to follow a somewhat familiar pattern of living in the woods and appearing in or around apartment complexes. The woods would seemingly be a logical place for them to hide out and the apartment complexes offer access to lots of people. In addition, these clowns do seem to be rather more agile than typical clowns since several reports have included descriptions of them outrunning witnesses that have attempted to pursue them, which is difficult to do in oversized, floppy shoes.

South Carolina Police Issue Warnings to Public of Scary Clowns With Lazers and “Lots of Cash”

Police in Greenville, South Carolina are cautioning residents to be on the alert after multiple sightings of clowns described as “mysterious” and “scary.” In addition, unconfirmed reports have claimed these clowns have been known to carry lazers and large amounts of cash, prompting police to speculate that they may be trying to lure children into the woods for some unknown ritual.

The suspects have been described as having luminous noses and overly large shoes, which may or may not contain equally oversized feet. They have displayed a propensity to make strange noises (often very quietly) and seem to congregate near street lights. Reports have also indicated that they have an affinity for gathering near basketball courts, although no confirmed sightings have pointed toward any desire on their part to actually play sports.

So far, at least one potential hideout has been uncovered, although it was not occupied by clowns when police conducted a search of the location. Their exact agenda and motivation is currently unknown, but police are not taking this potential threat lightly.

Via the Telegraph.co.uk:

Ryan Flood, a master deputy with the Greenville County sheriff’s office told the Telegraph that they were taking the reports very seriously.

“These kids have notified their parents they saw these clowns near the woods. The clowns had lasers and a lot of cash,” he said. “Our view is to take it seriously in case there is someone dressed as a clown trying to lure them away.”

Mr Flood said that their investigations and patrols had found no evidence to support the claims yet: “We haven’t found any clown costume stuff or irregular footprints or other indicators,” he said.

But police have begun daily patrols near Fleetwood Manor Apartments, where a number of parents said their children had come home with stories of speaking to clowns.

There have been “a lot of complaints to the office regarding a clown or a person dressed in clown clothing taking children or trying to lure children in the woods,” the administrators of  Fleetwood Manor Apartments wrote to residents in a note slipped under their doors.

Donna Arnold, one of the residents, said she called the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office because her son told her he had seen a clown behind the basketball court.

“I thought my child was seeing things,” Mrs Arnold told a local news channel. “And then the next day I had about 30 kids come up to me and say, ‘Did you see the clown in the woods?”

The sightings began earlier this month when a resident, who is not named, told the police that her son had seen clowns  “whispering and making strange noises” in the nearby woods, according to an incident report.

The resident said she later saw “several clowns in the woods flashing green laser lights.” The figures then ran away into the woods. And then, the following night, at about 10.30pm the woman said that her elder son heard “chains and banging” at their front door.

A day later, on 20 August, at around 2.30am another resident said she came across a “a large-figured clown with a blinking nose”, standing under a post light near the garbage dumpster area.” She said the clown waved at her so she waved back and kept walking.

Police however also interviewed children who told them clowns tried “to persuade them into the woods further by displaying large amounts of money.”

The children said they believed that the clowns lived in a house near a pond at the end of a trail in the woods.

The responding Greenville Sheriff’s deputy reported that upon investigating they found the house, but no clowns or any signs of suspicious activity.

Mr Flood said the last clown citing was as recent as Monday night. “We got a call from a juvenile and they stated a subject not dressed in a clown costume was seen taking photographs of children. And then shortly after a subject, who may have been the same person, came out of the woods in a clown costume and went to the same spot,” he said.

Greenville police have introduced a “see clowns, say something” campaign in hopes of getting to the bottom of this potential threat. However, they have expressed concern that the publicity generated by media coverage of the Clownspiracy, as it has been dubbed (by me), may interfere with their investigation by prompting copy cat incidents by unemployed clowns and other bored people within the area.

One example of such an instance is the video of clowns caught on neighborhood surveillance cameras below, which caused a minor scare in Florida back in 2014. However, it was eventually exposed as a publicity stunt to promote a traveling carnival that was scheduled to visit the area.

On the other hand, this is also reminiscent of the threat from Anarchists to scare innocent children during Halloween of 2015. That was, in fact, confirmed to have happened in numerous cities not just in the United States, but throughout the world. In addition, others such as serial killer John Wayne Gacy and the Insane Clown Posse have dressed as clowns in order to lure children away for nefarious reasons. It would be unwise to overlook such a warning again. As they say, better safe than sorry.

If you do spot a suspicious clown, especially if they are armed with laser beams and/or are carrying large amounts of cash, contact the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office at 1-864-467-5300 immediately, if not sooner.

Creepy Clowns Caught on Surveillance Video in Florida