No clowning around: Masked man charged

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — With more than a month until Halloween, a man in a ghost mask from the movie "Scream" and a clown were spotted around town within a week of one another, Front Royal Police Community Resource Officer Sgt. Robbie Seal said.

Officers responded shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday at Mojoís Grill in response to a person in a "Scream" mask.

Tyrone D.V. Holloman, 21, of Front Royal, was attempting to enter the establishment while wearing the mask, but a doorman would not let him in until it was removed, Seal said.

Officers offered to let Holloman go with a warning, Seal said, but he refused to remove the mask.

Holloman was charged with unlawfully wearing a mask in public, a class 6 felony.

"His comment was, 'the clowns can wear a mask, I can wear a mask.' That was actually a quote, according to the officers' report," Seal said.

The charge comes as people are dressing as clowns in public across the nation, Seal said. The epidemic has spread to Front Royal, as a clown was spotted about a week ago at Fantasyland Park off Warren Avenue. The clown fled the scene by the time police arrived.

"I don't know if it's a copycat issue with what's going on elsewhere in the country with people painting their faces. We wanted to put a stop to it here in our community," Seal said.

Seal thinks the mask laws are implemented because when a person attempts to conceal their identity in public, it raises the awareness of the general public.

"If somebody sees a mask, their first impression is, somebody is up to wrongdoing," Seal said.

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