Man charged with illegally wearing mask

A national wave of unsettling sightings of masked individuals reached Front Royal on Saturday when a town resident wearing a mask in circumstances prohibited by state law was arrested.

Front Royal police said in a written statement that Tyrone D.V. Holloman, 21, was charged with a class 6 felony after they received one of several complaints about someone being seen wearing a mask inspired by the “Scream” movie series or something of a similar nature.

Police arrested Holloman around 9:56 p.m. in the area of 424 South St.

Police officials did not return phone calls or an email message seeking further information about the case.

Holloman’s arrest came after weeks of nationwide news reports about sightings of individuals wearing clown masks in public places for reasons unknown to onlookers.

Winchester police reported one clown sighting Monday evening near a wooded area in Jim Barnett Park. Officers arriving at the scene searched the area and spoke to several people in the area but found nothing they deemed suspicious.

Winchester Police Chief Kevin Sanzenbacher said there have been no examples of anyone being harmed in connection with the clown sightings, but warned that police will enforce the state’s law against wearing masks, except for exemptions pertaining to traditional holiday costumes, theater productions, work-related safety, protecting the health of certain patients, and declarations by the governor of a disaster or state of emergency. The law applies to those who are 16 or older.

“If people think they are being funny, they need to realize the serious impact they are having on feelings of security in the community,” Sanzenbacher said. “We will make arrests if we catch anyone wearing a mask or concealing their identity in violation of state law.”

Wearing a mask in an illegal manner is a class 6 felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com