U of A Police Department investigating clown hoax

Published: Oct. 5, 2016 at 8:23 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 6, 2016 at 8:02 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The University of Arizona Police Department is investigating a clown hoax from Monday night.

UAPD said the department received between 20 and 30 calls from concerned students and parents after seeing fake pictures posted on social media.

The department said this incident compromised campus safety by distracting police and dispatchers.

Kendal Washington White, UA Dean of Students, said the person or people responsible could face criminal charges and also get in trouble with the university.

"It's causing disruption, it's violating other university policies, like if you're using the university network to send out information that's not accurate. That's misuse of our university resources so there could be a number of consequences," she said.

White said students should always call if they see anything suspicious on campus but she said in this case,students were calling in based on rumors.

"The mantra is 'if you see something, say something' and the operative word is if you see something. Not what you hear. Because it can create hysteria and concern," White said.

UAPD recommends calling 621-UAPD if you think a UAlert might be fake. UAPD will also tweet and post the alerts on Facebook as well.

UAPD said other universities across the country have seen similar hoaxes.

Those responsible for the hoax and those re-posting the warnings have been arrested in other states for false reporting and fueling public alarm, according to UAPD.

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