Middlesboro, Ky., man arrested for causing ‘public alarm’ in clown costume

Jonathan Martin (source: Bell County Detention Center)
Jonathan Martin (source: Bell County Detention Center)

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WATE) – A Bell County, Kentucky, man was arrested early Friday morning on charges that he caused “public alarm” by dressing up as a clown and crouching down in the woods beside an apartment complex in Middlesboro.

Jonathan Martin, 20, faces charges of disorderly conduct, wearing a hood or mask in a public place, as well as two outstanding warrants for non-payment of fines and failure to appear in court.

A police report indicates Martin was in the wood line beside Cumberland Village Apartments in full clown costume, including mask. The arresting officer said “upon stopping and seeing the clown,” Martin started running toward a vehicle at the apartment complex. Martin was arrested just after 1 a.m.

In many parts of Kentucky, the law states that “No person shall, while wearing any hood, mask or device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, enter, be or appear in any public place within the city.”

Clown sightings throughout Southwest Kentucky and East Tennessee have caused concern on social media. Three high school students in East Tennessee have been charged this week with making threats toward their schools on social media involving supposed clowns.

Previous story: Claiborne, Anderson county students charged with making clown threats

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