Police search for knife-wielding clown


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police earlier this week were skeptical of reports that a garish clown was chasing schoolchildren with knives, but they now think those reports are valid and the frightened children who report them are telling the truth.

As a result, police in both Kansas and Missouri are cooperating in their search for the menacing clown.


'We don't want to panic people, to make them think there's an Atlanta-type situation here,' said Kansas City police Sgt. Jim Treece, 'but today we have the first sighting of this clown that has been verifiable.'

Although many children at six Kansas City, Kan., schools had reported seeing the clown driving a yellow van since Monday, a police spokesman said that no adults had reported seeing him until Friday morning.

Treece said two sisters, 6 and 7 years old, were confronted at 8:30 a.m. CDT Friday while walking to their school bus in Kansas City, Mo. The mother, watching from the porch, saw a yellow van pull up to the girls, Treece said.

Moments later the children ran screaming back to their mother and the van sped off.

The woman told Treece her children said a man dressed as a clown had pointed a knife at them and ordered them to get into the van. The dark-haired man was wearing a clown outfit and had a painted face 'with red polka-dots,' the woman told Treece.


Police have classified the incident as an attempted abduction.

A trickle of sightings on the Kansas side of the river swelled into a flood after the menacing figure was dubbed 'Killer Clown' in a memo distributed Tuesday by a nun at Our Lady and St. Rose School.

The memo said: 'There have been reports of a character called Killer Clown jumping out of bushes and threatening children with a knife... Please alert your children to be careful.'

'We're getting bunches of calls on both sides -- it's like the Russians are coming,' Treece said. 'We cannot ignore any reports that we get as to a yellow van and someone in a clown suit, but I cannot believe that there can be that many clowns in Kansas City with yellow vans.

'This clown has been reported by thousands of kids,' Treece said.

The police sergeant added, however, that legitimate clowns do drive vans in the city.

'I found out last night,' Treece said.

He said police stopped a 'Happy Birthday' van driven by a clown in Overland Park, Kan. An investigation uncovered a catering service on its way from a children's party at a day care center.

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