This absolutely has to stop.

There have been several "creepy clown" sightings popping up all over the United States in the past few months. We joked about it at first until it started getting too real. Recently, they've been hitting way too close to home here in the Hudson Valley.

Last week, pictures emerged of a clown holding a BB gun in Newburgh and this week a student made a threat against Poughkeepsie Middle School by making a "Kruste Thee Klown" Facebook page. That student was arrested yesterday and faces serious charges. It was reported that the young teen was playing a prank on his friends.

Kids are obviously capitalizing on this new fad, but they need to know that these threats are not seen as a joke any more. In a press release, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is putting the people behind the mask responsible for their actions, stating:

“While some might view this as a prank, let me be clear: This is not funny; it is a serious offense. Anyone who threatens Dutchess County residents will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Additionally, people need to be responsible with what is shared on social media and avoid fueling fears with unsubstantiated information.”

In addition to holding the "pranksters" responsible, the Dutchess County Sheriffs Office reminds residents that "Some of the incidents reported have been legitimate; however the vast majority of reported “creepy clown” incidents have turned out to be hoaxes and/or pranks." I'm sure we don't need the reminder, but just in case... not everything you read on the internet is real.

With that being said, another clown related incident has popped up in the Arlington School District. Just a heads up that this is what you might see floating around the internet today:

Some advice for Lester The Clown? Let it go dude. I think we're all over the clownin' around.