Deputies: Clown Scare Suspect Says Why He Did It

Union County Man arrested after going into gas station in clown make up

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. — It was the smeared clown make up mug shot that raised eye browns across the Metro. Travis Pressley was arrested minutes after a gas station clerk called 911 saying, “[A] person came in dressed as a clown twice, and he’s starting to scare my customers.”

That was the first call of its kind in Union County, according to deputies. It’s been a creepy trend that’s played out across the nation ever since residents in Greenville, SC reported clowns trying to lure children into the woods back in August.

“I see a clown out in the woods with my little kids, more than likely, I’m going to pull my gun and shoot,” said Indian Trail resident Chris Naylor.

He was a customer at the Wilco gas station near HWY 74 where clerks reported Pressley in clown make up.

Customers there were angry it happened so close to home.

“I think some people think it’s funny, but you play with the wrong person, I mean, you won’t think it’s funny anymore,” said Jasmine Mitchell.

Deputies say they found Pressley Sunday in full clown make up with a hatched and weed in his backpack. They say his excuse was he wanted to scare his friends.

The gas station clerks couldn’t go on camera due to management rules. Deputies say they called 911 after Pressley came back into the store acting suspicious a second time.

“When he came in, he just looked at me and laughed,” a clerk told the 911 dispatcher.

WCCB Charlotte went to Pressley’s address. No comment from anyone there.

Union County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Tony Underwood warns, clown costumes are not the best choice right now.

“People take it a step too far,” said Underwood. “Dressing up as a clown, whether it’s legitimate, purposeful or not, I would caution people to do it safely and realize the environment you’re going into.”

Pressley’s first court appearance is Nov. 15.