Man dressed as clown arrested in Altamont

ALTAMONT — A woman and child were scared recently when they saw an Altamont man wearing a clown mask while holding a chainsaw, authorities said Wednesday.

Nathaniel T. Followell, 20, was arrested Friday by Altamont police on suspicion of disorderly conduct. He is free on $150 bail. No court date has been set.

Police Chief Alan Heiens said Followell had been using a chainsaw to cut brush near the intersection of Third Street and Washington Avenue in Altamont when the woman and child walked by the job site while he was wearing a clown mask and holding the saw. Heiens said probable cause was found to arrest Followell.

"If somebody is alarmed or disturbed by another person, that constitutes disorderly conduct," the chief said.

State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said Wednesday that he hasn't received an incident report, and so has not filed formal charges. The bond for disorderly conduct is set by statute, meaning that the defendant did not have to appear before a judge.

Followell is serving 30 months probation for his role in the January death of William Coleman on Moccasin Road north of Altamont. He pleaded guilty to dropping off his underage friends before returning to the scene of the accident. He was also fined $2,500 and ordered to pay $4.978.75 in restitution to the Coleman family.

Followell could not be reached for comment.

So-called "creepy clowns" have been reported in several states, including Illinois. Just last week, an Effingham woman reported a man dressed as a clown shining a flashlight in her daughter's face.

Bill Grimes can be reached at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com or 217-347-7151, x132.

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