FAIR LAWN, N.J. -- Amid all the recent genuine and contrived tales of troublemakers in "creepy clown" masks, Fair Lawn police nabbed five Bergen County occupants of a truck who they said frightened a female motorist before dawn Wednesday.
Two were wearing clown masks as they hung out the windows of a Toyota Tundra, "pointing and waving" at other motorists, nearly getting into an accident and forcing an alarmed driver to slam on her Hyundai Elantra's brakes on Route 23 in Butler, the woman told a 911 dispatcher around 1 a.m.
The 24-year-old Hawthorne driver -- who was with a 25-year-old companion from North Haledon -- said she was concerned because "they were waving something at her and she'd seen all the news about people in clown mask on TV and the Internet," Fair Lawn Police Sgt. Brian Metzler told Daily Voice.
She thought the incident was over as she continued onto northbound Route 287 toward southbound Route 208, but they began following and taunting the woman, Metzler said. So she dialed 911, after which Wyckoff police issued an alert to local law enforcement.
Eventually, a Fair Lawn police unit pulled behind the Tundra as it followed the woman's car onto eastbound Route 3.
Officer Luis Vasquez then pulled the truck over as backup units from Paramus and New Jersey State Police arrived.
The occupants admitted that they were hanging out the windows wearing the masks -- one of which Metzler said police was sticking out of a rear passenger seat and the other that he said officers found stuck underneath it.
They insisted, however, that they were pointing their fingers and not any objects -- although police found a front-seat passenger carrying a knife, along with a small medicine bottle of marijuana, in his pocket, the sergeant said.
Connor Moreno, 18, of Lodi was charged with drug and weapons offenses and released on a court summons, Metzler said.
The 19-year-old driver, a Fair Lawn woman who said the vehicle wasn't hers, received a summons for reckless driving, he said.
She, too, was released, along with the three backseat passengers -- two men, both 18, from Hackensack and Saddle Brook, respectively, and a 19-year-old Hasbrouck Heights woman, the sergeant said.