Ohio boy sues over arrest for Instagram comment amid clown scare

A lawsuit alleges a 12-year-old suburban Cincinnati boy was improperly arrested at school and prosecuted for social media comments goading purported frightening clowns to visit his area as reports of such encounters swirled around the country last fall.

His parents seek unspecified damages in the federal suit against his school district, an officer and prosecutors. They say his Instagram comments made no direct threats, yet authorities handcuffed, suspended and prosecuted him for causing public alarm and harassing the Instagram account’s operator.

The suit challenges the constitutionality of the Ohio harassment law under which the boy’s charged as a juvenile. The now-13-year-old denies the charges.

A Sycamore Community Schools spokeswoman said Thursday the district hasn’t seen the lawsuit and isn’t commenting.

A message was left for the Hamilton County prosecutor.

© 2017 Associated Press


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