Clowns dragged an Oklahoma woman from her car, beat her, and wrote “clown posse” on her face with a black marker, she told police.
The Pryor, Oklahoma community went into panic. Some warned to not pull over for stranded motorists while investigators told residents to remain vigilant But, like much of the creepy clown panic gripping the nation, the account was likely fabricated, police now say.
Amie Jones was driving home from a fundraiser on October 15, when she reportedly saw a truck parked on the side of the road. A blonde woman was waving, as though to signal for help. But when Jones pulled up next to the truck, two men with clown masks dragged her from her car, she told police. The creepy clowns allegedly ripped Jones from her car, punched her, extinguished a cigarette on her, then wrote “clown posse” on her face.
"It's sad we can't tell our children to help people when they're in need, you know,” Jones told Oklahoma’s News On 6. “Because we don't know what they're going to do, and that's what's just horrible."
News of Jones’s attack spread like Facebook-fueled wildfire in her Oklahoma community.
“WARNING!” read a Facebook post that racked up over a thousands shares. “Woman attacked near Pryor by men wearing clown masks after she pulls over to help what she thinks is a stranded driver.”
But after two weeks of searching, police think they’ve found the culprit: Jones, herself.
“She confessed to writing ‘clown posse' on her forehead; she confessed to banging her head on the steering wheel; she confessed to hitting herself,” Mayes County Sheriff Mike Reed told The Oklahoman.
He said his office wasted weeks of manpower and overtime hours hunting down possible suspects across five counties, while inconsistencies appeared in Jones’s story.
“‘So did one of them, at some point, take your head and hold your head still?’” Reed recalled asking Jones. “‘Well, no. Why?’ ‘How'd they write clown posse so you could read it?’ ‘Good question.’”
Jones still publicly maintains that she was attacked by clowns. She told News On 6 that she only admitted to writing “clown posse” on her face in order to get out of a police investigation, adding that she’d take a lie detector test to prove her innocence.
Police aren’t sold on her retracted confession. The Mayes County Sheriff's office said it would press obstruction charges against Jones, although as of Monday morning, the county court clerk had not received a warrant for her arrest, an official told The Daily Beast.
America’s creepy clowns — a loose collective of hobbyists who enjoy dressing as murderous circus performers — have decried their public perception as killers.
“They are misunderstood,” 26-year-old Bloodyelmore DAklown, told The Daily Beast earlier this month. He and his friends enjoy prowling their neighborhood in creepy clown garb. “People think they’re killers and criminals… but most of us just like the feeling of having a community and most of us just like the fun and excitement of it.”
Some professional clowns even worry that the nation’s clown fears will end in violence for makeup-laden performers. After at least 500 Penn State students led a “clown hunt” earlier this month, career clowns went public, saying their line of work had been falsely associated with internet hoaxes.
Jones stands by her story of a worst-case clown attack.
“I don't understand,” she said after news broke of her alleged beat-down by clowns. “People are sick. I pray for them. I really pray for them.”