HAYDEN, Idaho – A white separatist drew complaints from neighbors and a visit from law enforcement officers after building a snowman shaped like a member of the Ku Klux Klan on his front lawn.
Kootenai County sheriff's deputies told Mark Eliseuson Wednesday that he could be charged with a crime because the 10-foot-tall snowman was holding what appeared to be a noose. Deputies were called by neighbors who were appalled by the pointy-headed snowman with two dark eyes.
Hayden for decades earned notoriety for being near the former rural compound of the Aryan Nations.
Eliseuson could have been charged with creating a public nuisance. Idaho law defines such a nuisance as anything "offensive to the senses" or that interferes with the comfort of an entire neighborhood. Eliseuson removed the noose and toppled the snowman after he talked with officers.
Eliseuson told KXLY-TV of Spokane that he sees nothing wrong with the snowman. But other people did.
"It's such a message of hate," said Amber Caldwell, who saw the snowman while visiting her cousin in the neighborhood. "My kids asked me about it and I had to explain what that symbol means."
Eliseuson has angered neighbors in the past by flying Aryan Nations flags at his home. At Halloween he passed out bullet casings after he said he ran out of candy.