NC man in clown makeup arrested for trespassing, carrying hatchet

Deputies in Union County arrested a man in clown makeup that they say was carrying a hatchet near a gas station.

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. -- Another clown case popped up in the Carolinas, this time in Union County, where a man with his face painted like a clown has been arrested.

Deputies say the man had drugs and a weapon in his possession.

Law enforcement says he never threatened anybody, but with the current clown epidemic that has spread nationwide, anybody dressed as a clown seems to come off as a threat to people.

The Sheriff's Office says the man claims he was dressed as a clown simply to scare his friends, but with all of the recent clown encounters going viral, he scared an entire store of people when he walked inside.

"Just when you think you've seen it all you see something else that'll only surprise you," said Tony Underwood with the Union County Sheriff's Office.

There have been reports of clown sightings across the Carolinas in places like Cleveland County, Winston-Salem, and Greenville, SC.

"Just seemed to be an urban legend but then we get the report of an actual person last night going into a store dressed with clown paint on his face," Underwood said.

Underwood says 20-year old Travis Pressley went into a Wilco Hess gas station in Indian Trail yesterday multiple times, frightening customers with his face painted like a clown. Underwood says Pressley's face did have even more paint on it before his mug shot was taken. They arrested him when they found him near the business with marijuana, and a hatchet in his backpack.

"Dressing as a clown in and of itself is not illegal," Underwood said. "However, if you're doing something that is illegal while dressed as a clown we're going to take action."

Unlike the previous reports, the Sheriff's Office says this "clown" wasn't attempting to lure any kids. But the whole clown phenomenon has some people paranoid. At this point, Underwood says even if you're wearing a clown costume without any bad intentions you could be putting yourself in danger.

"You don't know how people are going to react," Underwood said. "You could even be injured as a clown."

Pressley was charged with trespassing, carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana possession, but he did post his bail and is out of jail.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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