Courtesy of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Courtesy of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

No joke: If you see a scary, armed clown, say something.

Authorities in Santa Clarita urged members of the public Tuesday to contact them if they see suspicious activity involving clowns and to avoid confrontation after two men were arrested in a clown- related incident.

The warning came after an incident in which a possible “victim” of a knife-wielding clown called officers but was then arrested after saying he fired a warning shot when approached. Even though that victim may have “misconstrued the story” due to the use of illegal drugs, deputies then found and arrested a man with a clown mask nearby.

The Newhall man called the sheriff’s Santa Clarita Valley Station about 6:35 a.m. Sunday to say he had been approached in the 25500 block of Via Desca by a knife-wielding man wearing a clown mask, according to the sheriff’s department. He told authorities he fired a warning shot to ward off the suspect.

“Further investigation revealed that the caller, who reported the clown incident, was possibly under the influence of illegal substances and may have misconstrued the story,” according to Shirley Miller, public information officer at the Santa Clarita Valley Station.

“He stated to responding deputies that he fired one round into the air to scare away the `clown.’ A search of the man’s house revealed multiple weapons, along with illegal narcotics.”

Soon after and not far from the caller’s home, deputies detained 44-year- old Michael Willis who allegedly had in his possession a clown mask, a 6-inch kitchen knife and burglary tools, Miller said.

“Both of the men were taken into custody at Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. It is unknown at this time if the two incidents are related. The investigation is ongoing.”

The caller who was later arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm illegally was identified as 24-year-old William Eto.

Officials at the sheriff’s station urged anyone to contact authorities any time they see suspicious activity and for anyone approached by a clown who is acting in a threatening manner to avoid confrontation and call the station at (661) 255-1121.

“When you call, be a good witness, and try to note any descriptors of the individual or vehicle,” Miller advised.

—City News Service

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