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Clown sightings could affect local residents

Photo credit: Elijah Hicks

Photo credit: Elijah Hicks

Photo credit: Elijah Hicks

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Recently, clown sightings throughout the country have grown and a social media account publicized their intentions of ‘invading’ all local cities within Los Angeles, including: Torrance, Crenshaw, Inglewood, and Carson. They have already started posting pictures by Carson High School, Torrance High School, and local parks.

This has been a big concern to the El Camino students and there have even been some who have encountered these clowns.

“I went to volunteer at a middle school in Palos Verdes and students were talking about how there was a clown outside of the school. When we went out and you could see it walking away even though it was far,” Gissel Sanchez, 18, social work major, said, “All the kids were really scared.”

Although there hasn’t been any close contact with students, some are starting to take more precaution. Some said they would try to avoid the clowns and others said they would carry something to protect themselves.

“If I see them while I’m driving, I’ll try to get away from that area as soon as possible. I’m going to post on social media,” Aniya Reed, 18, radiology major said, “I would not be able to confront them.”

Stg. Dal Toruno of the El Camino Police Department suggested students to be aware of their surroundings and carry something, like keys in their hands to possibly defend themselves if they are in danger.

“The rest of the police officers and cadets know what to do. We keep ourselves updated on everything,” Toruno said. “Just give us a call, we want students to feel safe, not afraid. We want students to know the procedures they can take.”

Students are already encouraged to use school resources in order to feel safe on campus.

“Students should know where to call us and they should use the blue emergency [poles] to call us ,” Toruno said. “We also have the campus escort shuttle that can take the students to their cars at night or they can ask any police officer to personally go with them.”

They also started threatening to ‘shoot up’ schools and although they haven’t hurt anyone, these clowns have started to carry knives.

“My first instinct would be to run, those people need help. I normally don’t carry anything, but I probably should because I take the bus. Probably something small like a bottle of pepper spray,” Mary Espinosa, 20, biology major, said.

Others think they are doing this just for attention and wouldn’t do anything if they see a ‘creepy clown’.

“I’m not just going to [run away]. I would just keep doing what I’m doing,” Jaylin Harris, 18, undecided major, said. “They probably just had [the weapons] to scare people.”

“A lot of them are a hoax, but because of what has been going on lately, like the school shootings, everyone is a lot more sensitive and cautious,” Toruno.

Now that Halloween is close by, some think that this could give them the chance to ‘blend in’ with the rest of the community that will participate with dressing up in costumes.

“I’m still going to go out, but I have to be cautious about who I would be around and just be careful. I’m going to go to [a different area] and hopefully there’s nothing there,” Sanchez said.

There are usually safety precautions the public already take in order to enjoy Halloween safely.

“I would suggest dressing up as something else [other than a clown],” Toruno said.

If there is any disruption of classes EC police will give the clowns a citation and remove them from campus and possibly arrest them for trespassing, according to Toruno.

Some students think the clowns should be evaluated and arrested.

“These kinds of people need a mental evaluation,” Fabiola Velarde, undecided major, said. “They should be arrested for disturbing the peace.”

To contact the police department, they can be reached at (310) 660-3100 or visit the campus safety page for El Camino for tips and procedures.

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Clown sightings could affect local residents