Sheriff Craig Webre announced two high school students have been charged after wearing a clown mask while riding around Central Lafourche High School on Tuesday, October 4. Students Jordan Boudreaux and Taylor Defelice, both age 17 and of Raceland, were charged with violating Louisiana R.S. 14:313 which prohibits the wearing of a mask in public outside of certain holidays.
“Last week we issued a stern warning that this ‘creepy clown’ activity would not be tolerated and violators would be charged,” said Sheriff Webre. “With rumors running rampant throughout the country, these individuals are deciding to exploit public fears for some sort of personal enjoyment, and that is simply despicable. We hope these two students serve as a lesson to others that this type of behavior will result in criminal charges.”
Students reported the incident to the School Resource Officer at Central Lafourche High School. Through investigation, officers learned both teens had each worn the mask at one point. They also found Defelice had posted a photo on Snapchat Tuesday morning of one of the two wearing the mask while riding in Defelice’s truck. The two were charged with one count each of wearing a mask in public. Sheriff Webre cautions that additional charges could be possible in other cases depending on the circumstances. Still, if found guilty of violating R.S. 14:313, the two face a sentence of no less than six months in prison with a maximum of three years.
Lafourche Parish School District Superintendent Jo Ann Matthews stated, “Our school administrators will not tolerate any student causing a significant disturbance on our school campus.”
LPSO investigators are aware of several social media accounts purportedly opened by individuals posing as clowns with masks that appear sinister or menacing in nature. Other states have reported threats made regarding schools made by “creepy clowns” on social media, but there has been no such threat in Lafourche Parish.
Sheriff Webre warns that any threat of violence would lead to more serious criminal charges. “Clown or not, anyone making threats of violence to others in any form, including social media, will be investigated,” said Sheriff Webre. “We have a great track record of working with social media outlets to identify perpetrators, even when they open an account under anonymity. The bottom line is, we will find you, and you will be charged. We will not tolerate anyone terrorizing our community and especially our schools.”