TCSO: 2 arrested for hoax 911 clown sighting call

Published: Sep. 15, 2016 at 1:12 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2016 at 2:24 PM EDT
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LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) - The Troup County Sheriff's Office says two people were arrested for calling 911 and falsely reporting a clown sighting on Wednesday.

On Sept. 14, deputies and investigators with the Troup County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the area of 3483 Hammett Road in reference to a report of unknown persons dressed as clowns standing outside a white van.

Officers then made contact with the driver of the van, who said he ran out of gas and gave deputies consent to search the van.  The search found no signs of any costumes in or around the vehicle.

After speaking with the driver of the van, officers made contact with the caller, Brandon Jerome Moody, 26.

Moody stated that he called 911 and reported seeing clowns around a white van parked on Hammett Road.  When questioned further Moody stated he actually saw the van yesterday with clowns inside and the same van was now parked on Hammett Road.

Moody further stated he did not see any clowns today and had just made it up and that he was aware of all the complaints about clowns and the schools being on lock down. Moody also advised that Rebecca Moody, 27, also called 911 and made a report of seeing the clowns but she had already left the area.

Investigators spoke with Rebecca Moody and also listened to the 911 recordings of the calls. Both Rebecca Moody and Brandon Moody was placed under arrest transported to the Troup County Jail.

Both Rebecca Moody and Brandon Moody were charged with obstruction and unlawful conduct during a 911 call, a misdemeanor charge.

[RELATED: UPDATE: LaGrange PD says there is no proof to clown sightings in area]

The city of LaGrange and the surrounding area has been on edge for the last several days. Social media has fueled rumors of clown sightings throughout the city, especially on Facebook.

The LaGrange Police Department took to Facebook on Sept. 12 to address the rumors and told pranksters that they would face charges if found. LPD also debunked the rumors, stating that no actual clown sightings have been made.

The coulrophobia hysteria also forced the "soft lockdown" of two schools in LaGrange on Wednesday following a social media threat that was investigated.

Again, no one has called the police claiming to directly have seen any clowns - despite the circulation of rumors online.

The post comes after multiple law enforcement agencies were called to investigate clown sightings in South Carolina. Alleged clown sightings have also been reported in North Carolina, but have either been debunked or linked to teen pranksters. The first reported threatening clown sighting in South Carolina was reported in late August.

Deputies in Greenville County, SC said the clowns were initially seen in wooded areas, where they reportedly tried to encourage children to join them, but the situation escalated to reports that clowns were also knocking on the doors of homes.

Investigators said no conclusive photo or video evidence has surfaced and no suspects have been named in any of the incidents.

Reported clown sightings have also been made in northeast Georgia. In McDuffie County, GA, two such sightings have been reported to law enforcement since Sunday.

Investigators said no conclusive photo or video evidence has surfaced and no suspects have been named in any of the incidents.

Residents are asked to contact police if suspicious activity is spotted in the area.

In the state of Georgia, it is illegal to wear a mask, hood or any other device that conceals a person's identity in public or on private property without the owner's permission.

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