LaGRANGE — Four teenagers are facing charges for allegedly posting threats on Facebook about committing violent crimes as “creepy clowns” at three different city schools.
Steven Goodard Jr., 18, of Manchester, and a 16 year old, whose identity wasn’t released due to the juvenile’s age, were arrested on Friday, stated investigators with the LaGrange Police Department.
Goodard was charged with making terroristic threats; the juvenile was charged with making terroristic threats and disrupting public schools, LaGrange police officials stated.
Investigators issued arrest warrants on Friday for two more teens: Zaria Dallas, 18, of LaGrange, and Tristian Bonner, 17, of Valley, Alabama. They are sought on charges of making terroristic threats, police officials said.
The teens were reportedly behind a series of Facebook posts that started Monday and claimed a group dressed as clowns and driving a white van would terrorize three area schools, according to investigators. The teens also allegedly posted photos of the clowns and type of van they would use in those incidents.
The Facebook posts spread through the community. LaGrange police officers responded to dozens of calls for alleged sightings of clowns driving through the city, investigators stated.
Nothing was discovered after those calls were made. Investigators believe some of those phone calls were false.
The department also used extra resources and officers throughout the week to address the concerns of parents and students upset by the Facebook posts, police officials stated.
Earlier in the week, deputies with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office arrested two people for allegedly calling 911 to falsely report a sighting of clowns in a van near the intersection of Hammett and White Bluff roads.
Brandon Moody, 26, of LaGrange, and his sister-in-law, Rebecca Moody, 27, of Valley, Alabama, allegedly admitted to deputies they called emergency dispatchers and said two people dressed in clown costumes were trying to lure children into a white van, stated Sheriff James Woodruff.
Each one made separate calls to 911 to report the sighting, Woodruff said. The pair admitted it was all a hoax.
Both were charged with one count of unlawful conduct during a 911 call and one count of obstruction of an officer, said Woodruff.
“We have zero tolerance for anybody calling in false reports,” Woodruff stated firmly to the LaGrange Daily News on Wednesday.
LaGrange police said their case remains open, but investigators on Friday did not expect to issue any more arrest warrants.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.