A man in a clown suit has been arrested by police in Kentucky for allegedly “causing public alarm”.
Police said Jonathan Martin, 20, was spotted crouching next to a wooded area in Middlesboro wearing “a full clown costume”.
He has been charged with wearing a mask in a public place and disorderly conduct.
The arrest comes after a series of reports of “clowns” acting suspiciously in a number of US states.
Police in Barbourville, Kentucky, warned that the reports “have created a real concern and risk”.
In a statement Barbourville Police Department said: “While dressing up is not, in and of itself against the law, doing so in public and thereby creating an unnecessary sense of alarm is illegal.
“Approaching people in a threatening manner and threatening people is illegal.
“If you create such a situation that violates the law you will be charged and arrested.”
In recent weeks people in Alabama, South Carolina, Maryland, Georgia and Pennsylvania have reported scary encounters with people dressed like clowns.
A 22-year-old woman and two underage suspects were arrested last week after a school in Alabama was placed on lockdown following threats against students on social media accounts named Flomo Klown and Shoota Cllown.
In Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, police have stepped up patrols along a main highway after posts on Facebook about a clown in woods nearby.
Meanwhile, in Athens, Georgia, an 11-year-old girl was arrested for taking a knife to school because she was frightened by social media reports that clowns were preparing to attack children.
Tricia Manuel, owner of Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp in Buffalo, Minnesota, said that the sightings had affected her business.
She said: “When people report these things it should be ‘someone dressed like a clown’, a real clown would never dress or do anything to scare anyone.
“In South Carolina, two of the clowns were afraid to go out and perform, and they’re two of my customers. If they don’t perform, they don’t need supplies.”