Clown chaos keeping Tampa Bay area law enforcement busy

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PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)  –  It’s been 26 years since we saw that creepy clown Pennywise, from the Stephen King movie “IT” peering out from a storm drain. Some have guessed, the recent craze of clown consternation, may be because of a possible reboot of the iconic scary movie.

Whatever the reason, we’re seeing lots of reports of threatening clowns, both online and in bushes. Law enforcement are bushed trying checking out every claim.

“It disrupts the teachers, it disrupts the administrators at the school because plans have to be made to provide extra security measures there. Then our SROs (school resource officers) we have to beef up security there,” said Pasco County Sheriff’s Office Captain Eric Seltzer.

And it’s not just them. Pasco County School officials are dealing with clown chaos, too.

“It’s very disruptive. It’s disruptive to administrators on the district level and it’s disruptive to the schools. When students hear there is some kind of threat, many of them stay home from school, so they’re not learning,” said Pasco County Schools Spokesperson Linda Cobbe.

In fact, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is so serious about it, on Tuesday, deputies charged a 12-year-old boy with a felony, for making a bogus bozo threat. A 13 year old in the Dallas area was arrested Wednesday.

Law enforcement isn’t taking any chances.

“We take every one very seriously because again the second you say ‘ohh that’s not’ and something happens God forbid… we can’t take a chance on one of the kids in our school systems getting hurt or anyone getting hurt,” Capt. Seltezer said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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