Eau Claire (WQOW) - A trend that has creepy clown sightings across America has reached Eau Claire with sightings on the UW-Eau Claire campus.
Outside Eau Claire, there have been reported threats, violence, and crime from clowns to the point where law enforcement agencies asked the FBI and DHS what to do about it.
Eau Claire Police said they have received a handful of calls about clowns within the past couple of weeks, but have not had any contact with people dressed as clowns.
"Personally, I am not scared of it or anything, but it is definitely off-putting to see a random clown in the middle of the night," UW-Eau Claire student Abby Randall said.
Randall and fellow student Abby Reimer said the clowns seen at UW-Eau Claire have started a large conversation on campus and in classes.
"I don't think it is right to purposefully scare people even if you think it is funny," Reimer said. "Fellow classmates do not want to walk around at night."
Eau Claire Police said they cannot take action unless people dressed like clowns are breaking the law.
"The issue comes in if a person wearing a costume provokes a disturbance," Eau Claire Police Officer Kyle Roder said. "If they are chasing people, if they are doing something to threaten somebody else, if they are doing things that are going to cause a problem outside of wearing a clown outfit or not, that is when police can get involved."
Roder said he believed the Eau Claire incidents are just to get attention from the national trend, but the actions could lead to a violent response. News 18 saw comments on social media from people who said if they saw a clown, they would harm or even kill the person.
"It is something we are worried about as we see an uptick in violence in communities across the country," Roder said. "We definitely do not want something like this to turn into a violent situation, so just because you may be fearful of something or may not like how somebody looks, we can't resort to violence for that."
Roder said he expected to see more clown incidents as Halloween approaches.