FRONT ROYAL, Va. - Police in Front Royal have arrested a 21-year-old man for wearing a mask in a public location.
After receiving several complaints of a person wearing a clown or “Scream” mask, Front Royal police charged Tyrone Holloman for violating Virginia law that prohibits the wearing of masks in certain places.
Police apprehended Holloman after responding to a complaint in the 400 block of South Street last Saturday night.
“The Front Royal Police Department will vigorously enforce any violation of the law governing the wearing of face masks and encourages citizens to report any activity that may be in violation of the Code of Virginia concerning this,” said the police department in a news release.
According to police, it is illegal for anyone over the age of 16 in Virginia to try to conceal his or her identity and “wear any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be or appear in any public place, or upon any private property in this Commonwealth without first having obtained from the owner or tenant thereof consent to do so in writing.”
However, those wearing traditional holiday costumes, engaging in jobs that require protective masks for safety reasons, participating in a theatrical production or has to wear one for medical reasons are exempt from this law.
This arrest comes after recent reports of suspicious clown sightings around the country. Police in areas of North Carolina and South Carolina said they have increased patrols after receiving reports of a clown attempting to lure kids into the woods.
In Annapolis, Maryland, police said they also received reports from children of seeing a clown in different neighborhoods in the city. However, police later said that those reports were fabricated by the kids.