[image-1]Adding to the growing number of reported clown sightings across the country, students at Charleston Southern University were warned of an alleged assailant wearing a clown mask and brandishing a knife.

Late Tuesday evening, a schoolwide alert notified students and faculty that a student walking her dog when she was approached in a threatening manner by a person wearing a dark hoodie and a clown mask, armed with a knife. The woman was able to escape the person chasing her, but students and staff were advised to contact the North Charleston Police Department regarding any suspicious activity.

Wednesday morning, the Charleston Police Department issued safety tips in preparation for Halloween and the upcoming night of trick-or-treating. In addition to the usual advice for children and parents — carry a flashlight, travel in groups, look both ways before crossing the street — there are a few more things to know this holiday.

Children are advised not to carry prop guns, knives, or swords, and if they do so, ensure that they do not appear to be realistic weapons. According to the Charleston police, trick-or-treating must stop at 10 p.m. under city ordinance, and no one over the age of 16 may wear a mask in public.

“If attending a late-night or costume party, people must wait until they arrive to put on any masks,” according to the recommendations from the department.

Businesses are also advised to place signs reading “No Masks” in their storefronts, and suspicious activity in the city of Charleston can be report to the police by calling (843) 743-7200.