Clown sightings reported in southwest Va., northeast Tenn.

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) — Reports of clown sightings have spread into southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee following a recent rash of clown hoaxes in the South.

The Bristol Herald Courier reports (http://bit.ly/2cx0g7h) that since August, authorities in states across the South have received calls about people dressed as clowns in parks, woods and neighborhoods, prompting arrests, school lockdowns and spreading fear through several communities.

In Virginia, law enforcement agencies in Tazewell and Dickenson County as well as police in Bristol have received reports about clowns sighted in neighborhoods.

In Tennessee, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office also received a call of a clown sighting last week at a Piney Flats apartment complex.

Authorities warn that people making false reports as well as those dressing up and trying to scare others will be charged.

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Information from: Bristol Herald Courier, http://www.bristolnews.com

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