Andrews Law Enforcement stepping up security after social media threats

Calls of clown sightings continue to tie up law enforcement in Andrews, Midland and Odessa.

Wednesday night an Instagram post was made with a non-local photo of a clown where a user made threats towards schools in Andrews.

Patrols were increased around the schools, and elementary students weren’t allowed to go outside for recess.

According to Andrews Police Chief Ronny McCarver there is now a possible suspect in the case, but he says that it is too early in the investigation to reveal how they came about finding the suspect, but has advice for those trying to stir up the chaos.

“I think it’s important that people don’t fall into the tactics scary tactics these individuals are trying to employ and although we take the threat seriously the schools are still safe the children need to go to school and they still need to get their education and we will carry on,” said Chief McCarver.

No arrests have been made at this time, though if an arrest is made the suspect will be charged with a 3rd Degree Felony Terrorist charge.

The FBI is assisting APD with the investigation.

A quick Google search of ‘Clown Sitting on Bench’ brings up the same photo that was used in the post.

“It’s kind of hard to explain to them without scaring them so much but my oldest understands he’s in 2nd grade he understands a little more but the little one he started crying but you have to calm them down and explain it to them and tell them it’s going to be okay just anything they see or hear let their teacher know,” said Nayeli Hernandez, a concerned parent of a 2nd grader in Andrews.

In the meantime, Odessa Police Department spokesperson Corporal Steve LeSueur says that their department received two calls Wednesday night of clown sightings.

One call made at 5:30 p.m. claimed that a person dressed as a clown was driving near Ector Junior High in a black Hummer.

The other call made at 6:30 p.m. claimed that two clowns were seen in a black Hummer at the La Tienda parking lot.

Officers responded to both locations and were unable to find any suspects or vehicles matching those descriptions.

City of Midland spokesperson Sara Bustilloz said Thursday morning that the Midland Police Department responded to four incidents of reported clown sightings Wednesday night.

For one of the calls, two suspects were found and were told by officers to ‘stop clowning around’.

In another call kids were found hanging out at the Duck Pond with clown masks in their car.

The Midland Police Department is warning against making false reports.

“If they can tie it back to you, officers can trace posts back to the person and they will face criminal charges,” Bustilloz said in an interview Tuesday.

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter says joke or not — the whole ordeal could get a painted face in trouble.

“If somebody dressed as a clown jumps out at somebody and scares them, they may get their but whipped,” said Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter. “And probably deservedly so if that’s what they’re trying to do–scare somebody.”

Source:http://www.cbs7.com/content/news/Andrews-Law-Enforcement-stepping-up-security-after-social-media-threats-396162171.html

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