A thin man dressed as a clown approached a 14-year-old Lakeview high school student from behind and displayed a large kitchen knife on Wednesday afternoon, Nassau police said.

The student had left Malverne High School at about 3:05 p.m. and walked through an opening in a fence where Clinton Avenue ends, to reach a grassy alleyway that leads to Jefferson Avenue.

The suspect, about 6 feet tall, wore a purple clown costume, a white mask and a red wig, the police said.

After running to Jefferson Avenue and then onto Langdon Boulevard, the student noticed the clown had disappeared. The student was not injured.

Detectives are investigating the case as an instance of menacing. It is similar to a recent pattern of threatening clown sightings around the nation and on Long Island.

Anyone with information about the incident should call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.

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