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Published: Monday, 4/21/2003

Roadkill prank is unnerving

BY RYAN E. SMITH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A sign at the Fremont Ross High School softball field warns against trespassing. More than a dozen animals, which police believe were roadkill, were found scattered on the field. A sign at the Fremont Ross High School softball field warns against trespassing. More than a dozen animals, which police believe were roadkill, were found scattered on the field.
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FREMONT - Russ Hagerty still can't believe what he found Friday when he went to tend to a softball diamond behind Fremont Ross High School.

One of the fields was littered with dead animals.

“I was in shock,” the assistant softball coach said yesterday. “There was an animal on each base, and they staggered them on the field similar to the way players would be on the field.”

So far, there is no culprit, according to a police official who said he was not able to comment any further.

A police report indicates 14 dead animals were on the diamond, where the gates were locked. There were raccoons, rabbits, skunks, and woodchucks, as well as a squirrel and a cat, Mr. Hagerty said. There was no evidence of forced entry.

He said a 15th animal - a mouse - had been placed near the mouth of the cat, which appeared to have been shot. Most of the other animals appeared to be roadkill, he said.

“It was just sickening to me that somebody would do something like that,” Mr. Hagerty said. “It's probably a sick joke.”

Residents living near the high school, said they've never seen anything like this before.

“I think it's crazy,” said Laura Breyman. “I don't think it's funny at all. I don't know what would make them do that.”

Her son, Marc, who attends Fremont Middle School, called the prank stupid.

Joanne Campbell, another neighbor, said it was “kind of appalling.” She said it surprised her given the nature of the community.

“The kids seem like really nice kids around here,” she said.

Members of the softball team found their cars covered in toilet paper and shaving cream upon returning Thursday night from a game in Lima.

“Toilet paper and anything, I can understand. That's what kids do,” said Art Bucci, athletic director. As for the dead animals, he continued, “I thought it was pretty malicious.”

He said he has no idea what may have prompted the prank, which was discovered a day before a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday.

“I'm glad the kids didn't see it. They don't know why somebody would do this. Some of the girls felt a little uneasy,” he said. “It's pretty bizarre.”



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