Woman reports clown attacked her, schools close as precaution
READING, OH (FOX19) - All Reading Community City Schools and Mt. Notre Dame High School are closed Friday after a woman reported she was attacked by a clown.
The woman, 45, was not seriously hurt, went to Bethesda North Hospital for evaluation and was released.
Reading police responded to a report of "a person assaulted by a person dressed as a clown" at South Terrace Apartments off Reading Road about 2:30 a.m.
Police said they responded to the victim's apartment after Hamilton County emergency dispatchers alerted them to a 911 call about a person grabbed by someone dressed as a clown who fled.
"Hi, I need to make a report of a clown coming up behind me and grabbing me by the neck and making threats," the woman calmly told a dispatcher according to a recording of the call released to FOX19 NOW.
She said he wore a striped outfit, red wig and white clown mask.
"She was able to determine the race by the color of his hands and believed him to be approximately 5'10," the police report states.
The woman who said she was attacked did not want to be identified, and told Reading police that it was a younger black man dressed as a clown who came around the building while she was outside smoking.
"The victim stated that a male black subject, possibly a juvenile, assaulted her and made threats against Reading Junior and Senior High Schools for Friday. Superintendent Chuck LaFata was contacted and he decided to close the schools for the day," police said in a prepared statement.
"He just kept squeezing and he said, 'I should just go ahead and kill you now,'" she said. "And then, all of a sudden, someone's smoke detector went off in their house and it scared him and he took off running."
The woman also told police her attacker threatened school children.
Police offered to call an ambulance for the woman, who accepted.
"She recently had neck surgery and believes the choking actions of the suspect may have caused damage to her neck," the police report shows.
An officer observed red marks on her neck, but he said he was unable to determine if they were from the surgery or the suspect.
The victim's mother and daughter spoke with police and told them she does not suffer from any type of behavioral issues, the report states.
Brittany Robertson sends her four kids to school in this neighborhood.
"My kids were terrified. My daughter was crying because, you know, clowns are scared. They really don't know what to think so, yeah, they were scared for a little bit," she said.
No arrests were made. The incident remains under investigation.
Students also will not be in class at Mount Notre High School Friday. Freshman students are expected to still attend a planned retreat.
Police said they did not find the suspect or see anyone in the area dressed as a clown.
But the report was enough to spur school officials to take action as a precaution.
"We were especially concerned with the number of students who walk to school in the early morning hours and made the decision to close school," District officials wrote in a 5:30 a.m. Facebook post.
Reading's homecoming will go on as scheduled Friday night.
In an interview first on FOX19 NOW, the victim said she now fears for her safety and will now take a smoking partner out with her on cigarette breaks.
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