NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH) — Walk by Mary Vega’s house in New Britain and you’ll see it’s decked out for Halloween.
“I love Halloween,” said Mary Vega. “I’m having a good time that’s all I can tell ya’.”
Vega says she and a friend were pulling out more Halloween decorations and didn’t think twice about giving her nephew a ride to school in her Halloween gear. She had on a masquerade mask and her friend Johnston Cox wore a scream mask.
“My intention was never to have the kids feel it was a threat,” said Vega.
“We didn’t even consider nothing about a school or a clown mask because it was a Halloween,” said Vega’s friend, Johnston Cox of Windsor.
But police say they caused a commotion at New Britain High when they dropped off her nephew, so much so that the school went into lock down. The scream mask looked like one of those creepy clowns that have caused so much concern and alarm over the past month.
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“Blasting its horn, blaring its music calling attention to itself, causing the students to run and look with at least one of the occupants, a passenger, looking out the window with a clown mask on, clearly intending to cause some alarm,” said New Britain Police Chief James Wardwell.
“We were at the school for 30 seconds,” said Cox. “No one blowing the horn.”
Johnston and Vega say they were not trying to scare anyone.
“As long as it not a clown and we’re not looking for problems, I think it’s ok to use it,” said Vega.
“(It’s a) silly mask,” said Cox. “There was nothing scary about it.”
New Britain police say it’s not so much about exactly what kind of mask it was, it was more about the alarm they caused.
“If anybody engages in alarming our threatening behavior, they are going to get arrested,” said Chief Wardwell.
They did get arrested. Vega is now rethinking everything, down to her house decorations, which includes a clown.
“Tell you the truth, I learned my lesson right now,” said Vega. “I did. I don’t even know what to do about my clown. I just hope I don’t get in trouble for this!”
Vega says she understands the concern, her own son received a creepy clown text a few weeks ago and she called police. But she thinks this is different. Police don’t think so. Cox and Vega were arrested for breach of peace.
We asked Chief Wardwell what people can do if they are thinking of wearing scary costumes this year. Because of the alarm over the threatening creepy clown posts, he asked that people think about the kids first and not wear costumes that will cause alarm.