UPDATE: Two juvenile Red Bank Middle School students, described as both male, were charged by the HCSO for making online threats against schools via social media. These threats were directed to Red Bank High and Red Bank Middle Schools and were first reported last night to local authorities.

A joint investigation between the HCSO, Red Bank Police Department, and administrators with the HCDE, led to the discovery of these two students based on information they received as being responsible for the clown threat made against Red Bank Middle and High Schools.

The two students will be charged as juveniles and have been released to their parents’ custody pending further action by the juvenile court.

Both are being charged with disorderly conduct and conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct. One of the students will also be charged with felonious filing of a false report.
All electronic devices operated by the two students have been seized as evidence. 

PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga Police ask residents to call 911 if they see a clown in an unusual place or attempting to lure children.

The CPD takes any & all threats seriously and will respond accordingly. As of Wednesday morning, police say there have been no confirmed clown sightings in the city.

Chattanooga Police along with the National Crime Prevention Council offer the following tips for parents:

  • Know where your children are at all times
  • Point out safe places for children to play, safe roads & paths to take and safe places to go if there's trouble.
  • Encourage children to play with others. Remember there is safety in numbers.
  • Don't talk to, take anything, or go anywhere with strangers
  • Always go to a trusted adult when needing help - i.e. teacher, police officer, SRO, school bus driver, parent, older siblings, neighbor.
  • Report suspicious activity to school & police department

Hamilton County weighed in Wednesday morning on the clown threats with this statement:

Last night, the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Red Bank Police Department that an unidentified threat had been made stating that a clown would shoot up either Red Bank Middle or Red Bank High School. Several students received messages on their cell phones via social media.

HCSO School Resource Officers, Patrol and Criminal Investigations personnel immediately began to assess the threat and found the threat to be unfounded. HCDE Personnel were also notified. Even with this threat, without credible evidence, normal school hours have been maintained.

Due to the recent national events, especially those regarding incidents with dangerous clowns, the HCSO will respond appropriately to anyone dressed as a clown and acting or purporting to act in a dangerous or threatening manner. Furthermore, the HCSO takes any and all threats seriously and will not only investigate any threat made, but will also prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any juvenile or adult threating the lives of children or caught trying to disrupt the daily activities of local businesses, schools, or public spaces. This also includes false reporting of incidents and sightings.

“Our nation is experiencing tremendous cause to be concerned over a variety of issues. With prior incidents involving clowns in other states, I want to make it very clear that we will not tolerate people in our community dressing up as clowns and threatening our children or their safety…” stated Hamilton County Sheriff Hammond. “I want to encourage parents to speak with their children and let them know that it is not a joke to threaten their classmates or their school and there are legal repercussions for those who do.”

Grundy County Sheriff, Clint Shrum also released a statement about clown threats in his area: 

The Grundy County Sheriff's Office received two calls last night regarding someone dressed up in a clown suit in the Lankford Town Rd area of Tracy City as well as the Plainview Rd area. Those calls were answered and cleared as unfounded. We are aware that there have been similar type incidents being reported in the news and on social media in various locations throughout the country. For these reasons, the sheriff's office wishes to advise the public that any incident of this nature reported will be taken seriously and will result in criminal charges for the person/persons found to be responsible.

Also note that any individual responsible for falsely reporting a "sighting" will also be prosecuted criminally. Also be advised that in addition to being criminally prosecuted, dressing in any type of costume and attempting to chase, lure, or cause fear with any person or group of people is very dangerous and could result in serious injury or death.

Finally, you have to be an absolute idiot to dress up like a "scary clown" and run around Grundy County scaring people. If you are thinking about doing this, you better think again. If you have done this, don't call the Sheriff's Office when you scare someone and they snatch up your clown hind-end. ~ Sheriff Clint Shrum