Charges referred after 12-year-old in West Bend admitted to posing as clown, sending messages to classmates

WEST BEND -- West Bend police say a charge of disorderly conduct has been referred to juvenile authorities after a seventh-grade Badger Middle School student allegedly represented herself as a clown, and sent messages to at least six different classmates.

According to police, in the messages, the "clown" told the students where they lived and went to school, and included statements like "if you see a red balloon, just know I was there," and "do you want to play?"

These messages alarmed and disturbed students.

A father of one of the students who received these messages was particularly alarmed due to the recent news regarding clowns across the country. This father called police.

On Tuesday morning, October 4th, a number of students who received these messages notified school officials -- and there were rumors spread throughout school regarding this "clown."

Police say this disrupted the school day and learning environment at this school and other schools in West Bend.

West Bend police and school officials worked together to identify the 12-year-old girl.

She was taken into custody on Tuesday and admitted to sending the messages "as a joke." She said it was not her intent to scare her classmates.

She was released to her parents, and a charge of disorderly conduct was referred to juvenile authorities.

West Bend police are asking that parents discuss this matter with their children and monitor their children's social media use.