911 call about toddler in storm drain leads cops to 'It' Halloween prank

"Upon further inspection, the officer located Pennywise hiding in the drain," police said

By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A scary 911 call about a toddler trapped head-first in a storm drain led South Carolina police to a perfectly recreated scene from the horror movie “It” on Monday.

The film focuses on a deadly clown named Pennywise who lures children to their doom, including one boy famously snatched into a storm drain.

The Spartanburg Police Department posted a photo that shows officers arrived to find a child’s legs sticking out of the gutter, and the head of a white-faced clown hidden in the shadows.

It was apparently one big Halloween prank, the department said. The department did not say if it knew who was responsible.

“Officers responded to Northview St. earlier this afternoon for a toddler possibly stuck in a street drain. All the caller could see was the legs sticking out of the drain and believed the head was down in the drain,” the department wrote in a Facebook post.

“Once officers arrived, they discovered it was nothing more than a spooky prank using a doll. Upon further inspection, the officer located Pennywise hiding in the drain. No children were harmed in the creation of this set up.”

The department saw the humor and chided the creators on Facebook for leaving out the clown’s terrifying calling card: a single red balloon.

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“Halloween season has officially arrived in The Burg!” police wrote.

The Facebook post has gotten 1,200 reactions and comments, including many from people who welcomed the humor.

“This is hilarious and bravo to the police dept for 1) taking the caller serious and checking it out. and 2) for not getting their knickers in a knot over it being a prank,” Misty Ray Cantrell posted.

“It,” based on a novel by Stephen King, was released in 2017. The year before generated a rash of reports involving crazed clowns seen in wooded areas across the nation. Those, too, were pranks.

[NEXT: Cops keep getting called to Texas man’s Halloween display, but he just adds more gore]

©2021 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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