United States

Man in Clown Garb Arrested in Knife Subway Menacing of Teenage Boy

What to Know

  • A creepy clown craze has swept the nation in recent weeks and the White House said law enforcement takes the threat seriously
  • Even Ronald McDonald is keeping a low profile given the current climate
  • Many schools have banned clown costumes ahead of Halloween as well

A 53-year-old Manhattan man wearing what police described as "multi-color clown/performance-style clothing" has been arrested for allegedly intimidating a 16-year-old boy with a knife in a Manhattan subway station.

Thomas Smith was charged with one count of menacing and issued a desk appearance ticket following his arrest Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Police say Smith, dressed in the clownish gear, was standing in the doorway of a subway as it entered the 96th Street station Oct. 5, blocking a 16-year-old boy from exiting. The 16-year-old boy and Smith made contact as the boy stepped past him onto the platform, and the boy kept walking, police say.

He then turned around and saw the man approaching him while brandishing a knife. The boy ran out of the station and the man, allegedly Smith, fled. 

The clown attack comes amid a frenzy of creepy clown sightings across the U.S. that has even Ronald McDonald keeping a low profile.

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