Clown chases car driven by students near UWO campus

Mikayla Becker

A person dressed as a clown riding a skateboard chased a car full of UW Oshkosh students early on Wednesday morning.
Around 6 a.m., three UWO students were in their car when they saw the clown. The individuals reported the incident to the City of Oshkosh Police Department, who are also working with the University Police Department on the incident.
According to one victim, the clown was riding on a skateboard toward them while they were stopped at an intersection.
“I had just stopped at the corner of Woodland and Elmwood when I looked to my left to see if any traffic was coming and I saw a clown on his skateboard gaining speed towards us,” the victim said.
The clown was described by the victims to be around 5 feet 8 inches tall with a slim figure wearing a red wig, white face paint and dark street clothes.
The victim said the fact that the clown was moving toward them was what scared them about the encounter.
“I don’t think I would have been scared had the clown just been standing there instead of coming at my car and then continuing to chase us on his board down the street,” the victim said.
Another victim said they could not tell if the clown was holding anything because of the limited visibility at the time.
“It was dark and we could only see him with the street lights, but as he was coming towards us he was waving his arms in the air,” the victim said. “I didn’t see anything in his hands but it happened so fast I’m not for sure.”
The victim said their reaction to the clown sighting was to speed up and get out of the area as quickly as possible.
All three of the victims said since the incident they are uneasy about traveling around campus, and wished to remain unnamed to avoid the clown knowing who they are.
The first victim said they were concerned both for their own safety and the safety of any clowns who attempted to scare the wrong person.
“I think this situation is out of hand and pretty soon these clowns are going to get hurt because I already hear people talk about ‘what they would do’ if this happened to them or they saw a clown,” the victim said. “Even if it’s just meant as a joke, it’s this new culture behind it that led me to feel like I was in danger even though I saw no physical weapon or was verbally threatened.”
The third victim said they were frightened by the “unnecessary” incident and they hope anyone who has a similar experience contacts the authorities.
“It is sad that this ‘clown epidemic’ is happening and has carried over to our own campus,” the victim said. “I just hope to spread the word for everyone to be safe, never walk alone late at night or in the early morning hours, and to report any findings or sightings of the clowns, even if nothing happened to them.”
According to a safety bulletin sent out regarding the event, there have been two incidents regarding clowns reported to UPD.
“The people reporting these sightings describe the actions of these clowns to be non-violent but perceived their actions to be threatening in one of the two cases,” the bulletin stated. “University police officers have responded to each of these complaints but have been unable to make contact in order to establish what their intent was.”
The bulletin stated the UPD takes these incidences seriously because the clowns are attempting to scare the UWO community.
“Part of our mission is to prevent crime, fear and disorder so anytime we have individuals who have the intent to create fear we will respond to, investigate and take appropriate action based on the facts of each situation,” the bulletin stated.
Students who encounter clowns are encouraged to contact UPD. Students who feel unsafe on campus can use the Safewalk program by calling 920-424-1212.”