VALHALLA, N.Y. -- The Valhalla High School/Middle School campus was the latest in a series of "creepy clown" threats affecting districts throughout the Hudson Valley this week.
Mount Pleasant police are investigating an Instagram threat posted against the Valhalla schools about 10:30 p.m. on Thursday night, coincidentally after district residents approved a $10 million capital construction bond issue.
Lt. Mike Pierce, a Mount Pleasant police spokesman, said the threat turned out to be not credible, but police and school officials treated it seriously.
Pierce said that a town patrol car was parked near the campus entrance at the start and close of school on Friday. Also, police youth officers who typically visit each school periodically during the week were stationed at both Valhalla High School and Valhalla Middle School all day on Friday, Pierce told Daily Voice.
Valhalla students received threatening Instagram messages on their personal phones about a clown coming to get them. The message said: "Jackson the clown...coming for you Valhalla be ready." Police said the message warned students who had gym during period 7 to watch their surroundings.
School officials and police alerted parents about the threat.
People in clown costumes committing illegal or suspicious acts have been reported in numerous places throughout the country, authorities said.
The Westchester County District Attorney's Office is investigating the Valhalla threat, law enforcement officials said, and suspect(s) will be prosecuted if a case can be made against them.
Earlier this week, similar threats were posed against Arlington High School in Poughkeepsie, Port Chester High School and Mount Vernon High School, among others. It's part of a nationwide craze, according to police.
An Arlington High School teenager and a 23-year-old brother of an Arlington student were identified Thursday as suspects in a "creepy clown" threat against the high school, according to the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office.
A Sheriff''s Office spokesman said an investigation into suspicious social media postings referencing Arlington High School by people posing as clowns resulted in no harm to anyone.
As stated in a previous press release, the vast majority of “creepy clown” incidents are pranks fueled by the Internet and social media.
"It's going to happen again,'' Lt. Pierce said on Friday, but all threats will be treated as crimes.
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