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Fort Collins Police Arrest Clown Hoax Suspect

Released on Friday, April 7, 2017
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    Facebook Clown Hoax Image

Fort Collins Police have identified and arrested the person responsible for last year’s clown hoax.

On September 28, 2016, Fort Collins Police were notified of a school threat made on social media. The message came from a Facebook account associated with a clown (see attached photo) and was directed toward students at Poudre High School. This threat came during a series of clown hoax threats throughout Colorado and across the nation.

The recipient of this threat posted the information to the "Let’s Talk Wellington" Facebook page. This further dissemination caused panic throughout our community and student population. Poudre High School, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, and Fort Collins Police Services were inundated with calls of concern about the threatening message.

Fort Collins Police launched an immediate investigation and quickly determined that the threat was not credible. However, out of an abundance of caution and to provide a sense of security to parents, students, and staff, FCPS increased officer presence at Poudre High School for several days following the initial threat. On the day following the threat, 530 students were absent from Poudre High School. This number was significantly higher than average and was directly attributed to parental safety concerns about the clown threat.

After a thorough investigation, Fort Collins Police determined that the threatening post was made by a Poudre School District student. The student was charged with Interference with Staff, Faculty, or Students of an Educational Institution (Class 1 Misdemeanor) and has been expelled from Poudre School District.

Due to statutory privacy protections afforded to juveniles, the student’s name will not be released.

“School violence is not a joking matter,” said Sergeant Laura Lunsford, who supervises the FCPS School Resource Officer program. “This wasn’t a harmless prank. It caused a lot of disruption and fear, and we will not tolerate that in our community.”