Portsmouth, Ohio police investigating report of clown with axe

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio-- Creepy clown sightings have now been reported in southern Ohio.

According to a press release, Portsmouth police received a report of a person dressed as a clown in their town. The person was holding an axe and staring at people as they passed by.

A resident took a photo and posted it on her Facebook page.

Police said they also received a report of a clown knocking on the door of a residence on Robinson Ave.

The police department said it "would like to strongly caution individuals or groups against dressing up as clowns and partaking in this type of activity."

Police said to stand in a public area dressed as a clown while holding a weapon could lead to an arrest on charges of inducing panic or disorderly conduct. An attempt to lure a child in any way will result in charges of criminal child enticement and a trip to jail, they said. Chasing a child or adult down the street while holding a weapon, even if it's a prank, will lead to an arrest on aggravated menacing.

"Before engaging in this type of conduct a person should consider the gun laws in Ohio that allow for open carry, concealed carry and the protection of your home from someone that enters upon your property that you believe is a threat to your safety or the safety of your family," police said in the press release.

Police believe someone engaging in this type of activity is doing it for attention and to cause fear.

The public is encouraged to call police immediately if they see someone dressed as a clown acting out in a manner like this.

There have been reported clown incidents in several other states including Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Read more here.