Man in clown mask sends New Britain High School into lockdown

Mary Vega and Johnston Cox (Photo: New Britain Police)
Mary Vega and Johnston Cox (Photo: New Britain Police)

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — The hysteria around clowns continues, as two people face a breach of peace charge after one of them allegedly wore a clown mask while sitting in a car on the campus of New Britain High School.

“A couple students at New Britain high school came into the school panicked, alarmed,” said New Britain Police Chief James Wardwell.

Police responded to the school, which went into lockdown after the sighting. School security cameras were able to capture images of the car and its occupants.

The subsequent investigation led to the arrests of 35-year-old Mary Vega, of New Britain and 39-year-old Johnston Cox, of Windsor. Police say Vega was the driver of the vehicle, and Cox was the passenger who was wearing the clown mask.

“And that is what this is all about, a purposeful intent to scare children, like all of these clowns incidences for a lack of a better descriptions. It is intended to scare our kids and our kids are scared,” said Wardwell.

New Britain Superintendent Nancy Sarra says that all students and staff were safe throughout the duration of the lockdown.

Police say it might seem like a joke, but with the climate on social media and across the country, they’re taking the clowns seriously.

“If anybody engages in this alarming or threatening behavior they will be arrested,” said Wardwell.

Vega and Cox are being held on $10,000 bonds.