Teen remains in custody; Awaits charges in creepy clown case

WICHITA, Kan.(KWCH) Tuesday Update: Eyewitness News contacted the District Attorney's Office regarding the teen who was arrested in connection with a "creepy clown" threat on social media.

We're told the case has not yet been presented to the DA and the teen remains in custody. No other information was released.

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The Wichita Police Department says at least one juvenile was arrested Monday morning in connection with the "creepy clown" threats on social media.

Sgt. Nikki Woodrow did not release the juvenile's age, but said the arrest was for criminal threat.

Woodrow said even if the threats were meant to be prank or hoax, they have created unrest within the community.

She would not say where or how the juvenile was arrested because the investigation remains open and more arrests are possible.

Terri Moses, the Executive Director for Safety and Security at Wichita Public Schools, also appeared during Monday's police briefing.

She said the reason school was not canceled was because it was believed the threat was controlled, and the schools were a safe place for kids to be.

Moses said specific threats were targeted mainly at Wichita high schools and one middle school. She did not release the names.

She said there will be extra patrol around schools. The district also sent an email to administrators asking them to be vigilant.

She said encouraged internet safety and said parents should talk to their children and if their child has an online account, parents should befriend their child and talk to them about the ramifications of online posts.

Moses said the district takes every threat it receives "very seriously."

She said the district learned about the threats through screenshots that were captured and shared with the district, police and the media. Police were sent less than 100, but more than 50 posts about it.

Moses said as with any situation, students, parents and the community are all encouraged that if the "see something, say something."

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Sunday evening, many of you reached out to Eyewitness News about social media threats toward Wichita schools.

We have seen Facebook profiles featuring clown images making direct threats toward at least two high schools. Wichita East High School and Wichita South High School are directly mentioned. One threat tells students not to come to school Monday along with more broad threats made to all schools in USD 259.

College student Taylor Martiens has seen the posts directly related to Wichita.

"They'll post it, keep it on and then delete it," said Martiens.

There are multiple accounts on Facebook attached to clown pictures and nicknames from which the threats are made. Eyewitness News heard back from school district officials who said they believe the threats are a hoax. The threats are similar to threats made recently at other districts across the county, but Wichita School District officials said they will be extra vigilant and its security team is investigating the threats.

Martiens said the clown profiles have been sending Facebook friend requests to people in Wichita, including her.

"They sent me a friend request, but how they got me out of everybody, I'm not sure, but I said no," said Martiens.

The district issued the following statement on its Facebook page Sunday night;

We have observed and received reports of several "creepy clown" messages on social media, as have districts across the country. Several have gone so far as to reference specific schools in Wichita. We have shared all messages with local law enforcement, and they are investigating through the evening. While we believe the messages to be hoaxes, we will nonetheless be extra-vigilant tomorrow as students and staff return to school.

We encourage you send any posts of concern to the Wichita Public Schools (@wichitausd259), and those will be shared with law enforcement as well.

Thank you for your continued care and concern for the safety of our schools!

Martiens said someone wearing a Halloween mask even requested to video chat her friend.

"...saying that we need to keep clowning around, and we're gonna terrorize Wichita. They just said stuff like that, and then she ended it," said Martiens.

Read the original version of this article at www.kwch.com.