CARYVILLE, Tenneesee –
A Caryville, Tenneesee man is in hot water after hanging a life-size look-alike prop of President Barack Obama from a tree in his front yard.
Clyde Harrison Jones, 58, faces several charges including threatening the life of the President of the United States and various hate crimes. Jones was arrested by FBI agents after being informed of the incident by the Caryville Police Department. Caryville police had received several complaints from neighbors and passers-by for over a month, and had done apparently nothing to resolve the issue. Caryville police chief, Gary Monroe, said that he did not know what to do about the issue.
“Well hell, I just didn’t know how to approach Mr. Jones about it. He is a damn good friend of mine. What was I supposed to do? Ask him to take it down? I thought it was pretty damn funny really,” Monroe said. “This is supposed to be a free country, and as long as you keep your mouth shut, you should be able to do anything you want. I mean shit. So, I called the FBI and asked for advice, I told them he had hung a fake body that looked like the President from a tree, and you would have thought he actually did hang the president the way they stormed into town.”
The FBI says that the dummy, which was wearing a Halloween mask, intentionally resembled the likeness of the president, which can be taken as a threat not covered by free speech. Jones says he meant no harm by what he called “a prank,” and hopes that the case will be dismissed.
“I don’t hate the president – well, I don’t hate him because he’s black. For crying out loud, it’s not a hate crime,” said Jones. “Hell, it’s not a crime at all. But they’re all saying it’s a threat on his life. Phooey. If I was threatening his life, I’d buy a rifle and a book depository or something, not hang a dummy in my tree.”
Jones faces a possibility of several months in jail and a $10,000 fine.