NORWALK, Ohio – The duo behind a clown photo that went viral sparking hysteria and calls to Norwalk police said it was done for fun and they meant no harm.
Christine Coiffard and Ricardo Ramos, both of Norwalk, said they dressed in clown costumes and had the photo taken before Coiffard posted it on Facebook Thursday night, claiming the clowns were spotted in Norwalk.
The pair said they were just clowning around, but the post was shared more than 1,000 times, frightening some.
“Just thought it would be fun. Didn't expect it to blow up like it did,” Ramos said. “Watched everyone start sharing it then we were listening to the police scanner, all the reportings, the sightings.”
According to a police report, police started receiving multiple calls about people in clown costumes causing problems late Thursday night into early Friday morning.
“Half the people kind of knew, 'oh that looks staged,'" Coiffard said. “Everyone was like, 'where are the clowns?' And we're making up places.”
Police said they never found any criminal clowns, but they did find several groups of people out looking for clowns.
“I get the people who are mad; I do understand that. But at the same time like we were just having fun, and we did we apologize to the Norwalk Police Department night shift, like we didn't mean to keep you guys out,” Coiffard said, who added she doesn’t regret posting the photo.
According to police, Norwalk’s law director reviewed the case but declined to file criminal charges against the pair.
“We want people to be careful with what they post on social media, to think beforehand and to realize that can be a problem and it can create a problem for the police in tying up resources,” Norwalk Police Captain Michael Conney said.