3 teens with clown masks and BB gun cited in ABQ - Albuquerque Journal

3 teens with clown masks and BB gun cited in ABQ

The three masks and possible handgun from the Sunday afternoon "clown sighting" in Northeast Albuquerque. (Source: Albuquerque Police Department)
The three masks and possible handgun from the Sunday afternoon “clown sighting” in Northeast Albuquerque. (Source: Albuquerque Police Department)

A trio of teenage boys wearing scary clown masks – one of whom was carrying a BB pistol resembling a semiautomatic handgun – were detained by police shortly before noon Sunday after frightening a woman who thought she was about to be robbed.

Officer Simon Drobik, spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said a woman who was getting ready to enter the Babies “R” Us store near Wyoming and Lomas just before noon Sunday reported the masked trio and the handgun to police.

“She thought she was about to get robbed, so she called (APD’s) Foothills Area Command immediately,” Drobik said, during an afternoon news conference. “That, for us, is a Priority 1 call, especially someone with a gun, masked up.”

The recent nationwide trend of people donning scary clown masks to frighten bystanders has put many police departments on alert, especially with the approach of Halloween.

As police arrived at the scene, the trio – a 14-year-old and two 13-year-olds – ran south across Interstate 40, ditching the masks and the gun as they fled, Drobik said.

The trio was quickly rounded up, along with the masks and an air pistol, Drobik said.

“We believe these kids were highly under the influence of marijuana, extremely stoned, making absolutely poor choices,” Drobik said. The boy who had been carrying the gun told police the incident was only a prank, he said.

The boys were cited under a city ordinance prohibiting pedestrians from being on the interstate, and their parents were called to pick them up.

The parents, Drobik said, were cooperative with police, and told officers they had no idea their kids had the masks, and no clue where they had gotten the air pistol.

The air pistol – which lacked any high-visibility markings to indicate it was not a real firearm – was a major concern for police, Drobik said.

“In a split-second decision, as an officer, as a citizen, if you see this pointed in your direction, you’re going think it’s a real gun,” he said.

“It was an extremely dangerous situation for these kids,” he said, noting that their actions were “real stupid” and that running across a busy freeway alone could have ended in tragedy.

Drobik urged people to think twice before donning scary clown masks this Halloween.

Police in Alamogordo recently identified three boys whom they allege “haunted” a middle school dressed with clown masks.

Roswell police are urging residents to avoid dressing up as scary clowns after reports surfaced of clowns armed with baseball bats walking around the city.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » 3 teens with clown masks and BB gun cited in ABQ

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