UPPER EAST SIDE — A person in a clown costume holding a kitchen knife chased a teen off a 6 train Wednesday amid an increase in creepy clown sightings across the country, the NYPD said.
A 16-year-old boy from New Jersey was riding a northbound 6 train at the 96th Street Station, when a suspect wearing multi-colored clothes and clown makeup stood in the train's doorway with the knife, preventing people from getting off at about 1:55 p.m., police said.
The frightened teen ran off the train, past the turnstiles of the station, looking back to see the clown standing on the other side still holding the knife, authorities said.
Police are looking for the suspect, whom they believe is a man, who they plan to charge with menacing, police said.
Sources said police are looking at whether the incident is connected another clown sighting on Monday, when a 16-year-old boy looked out his window and spotted a person dressed as a clown with a knife lurking outside.
On Monday, the NYPD told New Yorkers not to be afraid of clowns after dozens of reported sightings across the country, some of whom have tried to lure kids into the woods.
The clown sightings started in North Carolina this year and have so far spread to 20 states.
"I guess our main message is: 'Don't believe the hype and don't be afraid of the clowns,'" said John Miller, the NYPD Deputy Counterterrorism Commissioner, during a crime briefing at police headquarters.
"Again, we're tracking them, we're tracing them but our people that deal [with] the threat everyday and assess these threats have found none of them to be credible," he added.