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Local lawmen investigating bizarre threat at Rio station

2-8-2004 Louisiana:

The human-like dummy found hanging from the flagpole outside the District Seven Fire Station in Rio recently had a message scrawled across its white sweatshirt that prompted concerns that the stunt might have been a hate crime. But the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office said threats directed at convicted child molesters do not fit under the Louisiana Hate Crime law.

The words, "child molester" were written on the shirt adorning the apparently home-made dummy that was reportedly hung outside the station sometime in the night, according to a WPSO report. A sign attached to the dummy reportedly read, "and those who shelter them in Rio, Louisiana. "The dummy was discovered and removed early in the morning.

Someone was apparently trying to send a message to a sex offender who has recently moved into the area, the sheriff's office said. Such offenders are required to register and to publish an informational announcement when they move into a new residence.

Because the dummy incident does not qualify as a hate crime, it is being investigated as a criminal trespass on the fire station property, said Chief Criminal Deputy Dan Foil. ..more.. : by Marcelle Hanemann

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