North Carolina Residents on Edge After Multiple Clown Sightings

Photodisc/Thinkstock(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- Police say a person dressed as a clown disappeared into the woods after being chased by a man wielding a machete on Tuesday -- the third incident involving a clown in as many days in the Greensboro, North Carolina area.

The North Carolina incidents come after multiple reports of clowns attempting to lure kids into the woods in South Carolina last week.

A "local witness reported that a person wearing a scary clown mask, red curly wig, yellow dotted shirt, blue clown pants and clown shoes exited the woods," near an apartment complex, Greensboro police said in a statement. "Upon seeing the clown, another witness -- an adult male -- ran after it yielding a machete. The clown ran back into the woods and disappeared from view."

Tuesday's incident comes on the heels of complaints Sunday of a clown trying to lure kids into the woods in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A second sighting took place nearby later that same evening, reports WTVD, a local ABC affiliate.

Similar to what witnesses told police last week in South Carolina, the suspect in Sunday's incident in North Carolina allegedly tried to lure the kids with treats. The suspect was reportedly seen by two children and heard, but not seen, by one adult. The suspect fled the area when officers arrived, WTVD reported.

The "clown" had on white overalls, white gloves, red shoes with red bushy hair, a white face and a red nose, witnesses told police.

A second clown sighting happened just after midnight two miles from the first sighting. Officers attempted to locate the subject but were unsuccessful.

All three spots where clowns were reported are in very residential areas near parks/woods, WTVD said.

Greensboro police warned people after the incidents that "although it is lawful to dress as a clown, given the heightened tensions about these entertainers, officials are discouraging 'copycat' behavior by individuals who may find it humorous to mimic suspicious behavior."

The police also said that the recent scares present an opportunity to talk with their children about how to avoid dangerous situations when dealing with strangers in public.

"Parents should tell children never go anywhere with a stranger, even if it sounds like fun," the police said.

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Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statue

Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statueMark Wilson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer will issue a statement Friday afternoon after canceling a news conference at which he was expected to "make a major announcement" regarding the local statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the legacy of the woman killed during a protest sparked by the city's plans to remove the statue.

His news conference had been scheduled for noon on Friday, but the mayor tweeted Friday morning that "we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon."

FYI all: we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon. Stay tuned.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

FYI, the reason for the change is we decided a statement rather than a press event was the best medium for the ideas I want to convey today.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

The statement comes six days after a Unite the Right rally sparked by Charlottesville's plan to remove the Lee statue from a local park turned deadly.

The rally was attended by neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members. They were met with hundreds of counterprotesters, which led to street brawls and violent clashes.

A driver plowed into counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring several others. The suspected driver is in custody, facing charges including second-degree murder.

Despite the "painful" event, "we’re not going to let them define us,” Signer told ABC News earlier this week of the agitators.

"They’re not going to tell our story," he said. "We’re going to tell our story. And outsiders -- their time has come and gone. This city is back on their feet, and we’re going to be better than ever despite this."

Signer compared his hopes for Charlottesville's recovery to the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting in June 2015 that killed nine people. The gunman in that attack said he wanted to start a race war, but the tragedy instead united the city.

"There’s a memorial right now in front of Charlottesville City Hall that’s flowers and a heart that talks about the love that we have here. Those are the images that are going to replace these horrific ones from this weekend. That’s the work that we have as a country," Signer said.

"That’s what happened in Charleston. There were those horrible images of those people bloodied and killed and weeping from the church. But they were replaced quickly, steadily, by the work that started to happen. By people who said, 'You’re not going to tell our story for us. We’re going to tell our story.'

"And that’s what’s happening in this community. That’s my work as the mayor here -- is not to allow these hateful people who just don’t get this country to define us," he said. "And they’re not going to define us."

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