Could clowning around get you in legal trouble in all three cities?


If you’re considering dressing up as a clown to give the unsuspecting citizens of the Tri-Cities a good scare this Halloween, you might want to reconsider. There are plenty of ways to “clown” this holiday that could land you in trouble with the law.

Is it illegal to dress up as a clown in town?

If you remember back in 2016, there was a wave of creepy clown sightings all over the United States. Most of the stories seemed to come from Florida, but we also had reports of clowns right here in Tri-Cities. The public’s fear of the clowns prompted local police to issue statements about what “was” and “wasn’t legal”.

Is there a law against dressing up as a clown in public?

There doesn’t seem to be a law prohibiting people from dressing up as clowns, but there are laws about what you can do. Pasco Police have issued a warning about the various activities you could get in trouble for while dressed as a clown. One warning they gave was to wear a mask in a store. They say in the warning that the fall historically has more thefts in the area, so if you’re wearing a mask “you’re begging the police to come forward and legally detain you until we’re satisfied you mean no harm”.

How can you get in trouble if you wear a clown costume?

Pasco police also warned that if you jump “into traffic or attempt to startle and startle random strangers on the street” you are committing disorderly conduct and could be arrested. You may have more trouble if you’re dressed as a clown and carrying a dangerous weapon. They just say don’t do it, but don’t say what will happen. However, these are not the only two ways to get into trouble.

You can also get in trouble for being a Snitch Clown

Being a clown can get you in trouble, but reporting a clown that causes no harm can also get you in trouble. The police don’t want to waste resources chasing threats that don’t exist. Don’t call or complain about a clown you see because he’s scary. They must do one of the things explained above.

Clown Facts You Learned Today

Lessons you should have learned today about clowning in the Tri-Cities:

  • #1- Don’t be a scary clown and try to scare ordinary people or wear a clown mask in stores. Instead, be a nice clown.
  • #2- Don’t call the police unless a scary clown is breaking the law.

Now be smart and have a safe and happy Halloween!

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