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Prank causes scarecrow controversy in Denham Springs

3 years ago Monday, October 10, 2011 8:11:47 PM CDT October 10, 2011 Monday, October 10 2011 Oct 10, 2011 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS -  A fall tradition in Denham Springs' Antique district was spoiled by a joke several people say is far from funny.

The "Scarecrow Row" competition calls for stores to create scarecrows to show-off in front of their businesses and promote fall shopping on Main Street.  High School art students also get involved.

But Monday afternoon, it was discovered that someone put a noose around a high school student's project, which was designed after Star Wars character Darth Vader.  The scarecrow was hanging between two highway signs on Range Road.  It was next to a sign, with Denham Springs football and cheerleader scarecrows on either side, welcoming drivers to "Scarecrow Row."

Donna Jennings, director of Mainstreet, says the noose is upsetting and not reflective of the community, or the Antique District. 

"This was probably just an act of a child, maybe this past weekend in the middle of the night, they thought it was funny, they brought their little rope out here, they were gonna hang Darth Vader," she said, "Gags can be funny at times, you could hurt the economic development in the City of Denham Springs."

Police were called to cut the rope off of the scarecrow, and a report was filed.  Jennings just hopes the prank doesn't pull down the reputation so many have worked so hard for.

The competition has had its fair share of vandalism in the past, and the scarecrow with the noose wasn't the only one found to have been tampered with.  However, it is illegal to use a noose to intimidate.  Jail time and a hefty fine come with a conviction.

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