DETROIT – Roseville, Mich., Police Chief James Berlin is not mincing words and his department is not playing games.
Officers arrested two 18-year-old women from Roseville who police said were dressed as clowns and jumped out and began to chase and scream at two 14-year-old girls Thursday night, terrorizing them. Berlin called the women “morons” and “idiots” in a news release.
Jaime Salinis and Elandra Sledge were arraigned Friday on disorderly conduct charges and ordered held in the Macomb County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond by District Judge Catherine Steenland in Roseville, police said. Berlin said the two stood mute to the charges.
About 9 p.m. Thursday, the two 14-year-olds came to the police department “in hysterics.” Officers were able to calm them, and the girls said they were walking when a car stopped and two people dressed as clowns jumped out and started chasing them, Berlin said in a release titled “Two Morons Dressed as Clowns Terrorize Teens, are Arrested.”
The younger teens fled, thinking they were going to be attacked.
Officers went to the area immediately and saw “two idiots” dressed as clowns, according to Berlin’s release. As officers approached them, they tried to flee and a foot chase began. Both women were apprehended and arrested for disorderly conduct.
The suspects were in “what would be considered full clown regalia from head to foot and stated they thought it was funny to terrorize unsuspecting pedestrians,” the release stated.
Police said the disorderly charge is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.
The incident is the latest one in the creepy clown craze taking hold across the country, including in Minnesota.
But several of the incidents have gone beyond creepy to criminal, with one Thursday in which a person in a clown mask then a pumpkin mask tried to rob two hotels in Livonia, Mich. The situation escalated when police began a pursuit with the suspect, who reportedly pulled a gun and tried to shoot officers.
On Tuesday night, authorities believe the same scary clown-masked person with a handgun robbed three businesses, one in Brownstown Township and two in Ann Arbor.
That same night, a person dressed as a clown approached a 7-year-old boy who was playing in Sterling Heights, grabbed the boy’s arm and laid what was believed to be a plastic butter knife across it. The knife scratched the boy’s arm and the clown ran away, a police spokesman said.
There also have been noncriminal clown sightings throughout Michigan, and school districts have sent letters home to parents about creepy clown sightings.