MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — After several calls from Manor residents police arrested Lavalle Ross, 18, a masked clown knocking on doors.
Police received several calls about a clown approaching houses Thursday morning around 10:10 a.m. According to Manor police, they arrived quickly and found the clown matching the 911 callers’ description of a black man dressed as a clown walking through the neighborhood.
“[We] met with the male, he wasn’t wearing the mask anymore, but he did have it with him,” Sgt. Craig Stuble with Manor Police said.
Police say Ross told them it was a big misunderstanding.
“He was coming to visit a friend and I don’t believe that he understood the attention and the kind of situation that we’re in,” Sgt. Stuble says.
The clown’s mask is now evidence and he is being booked into the Travis County Jail. He had multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest for an unrelated charge of failure to appear for marijuana possession. The suspect was with Crista Flores Estrada, 20, who was also arrested for an outstanding warrant for making a terroristic threat.
“From what we gathered he [Ross] had no mal-intent to harm, wasn’t trying to alarm anybody, just had a Halloween costume and unfortunately he did have the warrant, so that’s why he went to jail,” Sgt. Stuble says.
Police are still investigating other clown-related incidents involving criminal activity in the city. They are still looking for the clown who a Manor High School student said approached her at a bus stop on Monday. According to the student, the masked clown drove up and rolled down a window to ask her to get in his car. She immediately called 911. So far, police have been unable to find the vehicle or the suspect.
“We’re taking a proactive approach on social media account with clown profiles as well as investigating the report of the student on Monday,” said Sgt. Stuble says.
Manor Police are urging parents to steer clear of clown costumes for now.
“For Halloween, maybe let’s pick a different costume for kids something else that’s not a clown just because of what’s going on,” Sgt. Stuble said. “We are investigating any people making threats and using the clown people to cause fear and scare people, and they will be prosecuted.”