New Port Richey, FL – Pasco County has warned those making false reports or “creepy clown” threats that they will be arrested and prosecuted. Still this weekend they continued. On Saturday night, Pasco County deputies investigated a false report from Facebook and the same night, someone posted a video on YouTube showing a masked figure in Sims Park.
By Sunday morning that video with the title, “Clown Sighting Pasco Sims Park” had been shared on Facebook with a warning not go near the park.
New Port Richey police officers told us they were not aware of the video, but they had not received any reports about clowns.
Parents with the children in the family-friendly park were not amused by what they saw calling the video creepy and scary.
“It's not funny. It’s scary. People shouldn't be doing it and covering their faces,” said Stacey Svenson.
Her husband says the “creepy clown” news has him concerned.
“I do worry about my kids especially if they were out here by themselves,” said Evon Svenson.
Bridgette Cairo has a young daughter. She says Sims is a safe place for her young child to play, but worries about what would happen if someone with a mask approached them.
“It's a masked person and the crime potential, you know? It is scary, especially as a mom, it is scary,” she said.
Deb Morris watched and immediately thought the video was a prank. Still she says it’s serious.
“They should be careful because somebody's going to get hurt and it could be the people playing the clown because someone's going to think that they're serious and a threat,” said Morris.
That’s the same message from Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.
“There are a lot of citizens that are fed up. They’re saying, ‘If one of these clowns comes onto my property, they’re going to get shot,’” he said.
New Port Richey police are now looking into the video.