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Three arrested for hanging mannequin on I-75

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Two of three men arrested for hanging a stolen mannequin on an embankment overlooking Interstate 75 Friday are free on bond.

Henry County Police arrested 17-year-old Robert Brandon McGill, of Hampton, 18-year-old Matthew Parsons, of Monticello, and 18-year-old Jarvis McCleod, of Hampton. Each is charged with burglary and interference with government property.

According to Police Sgt. Rene Swanson, the mannequin and other items were stolen from the Henry County Fire Department's training facility at 180 West Ridge Pkwy., in McDonough late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Motorists reported the mannequin hanging from Bethlehem Road bridge over the northbound lanes of the interstate around 8:10 a.m., Friday.

"It wasn't hanging directly over the interstate, but was off to the side of the roadway over the embankment," Police Capt. Jason Bolton said Friday. "Motorists had to be fairly observant to see it."

He said police found out about the dummy from motorists driving by the scene, some of whom initially thought the dummy was a human body. Several obscenities were spray-painted on the mannequin and on the bridge itself, including the letters "KKK" on the mannequin's chest.

Henry County NAACP president, the Rev. Daniel Edwards, said he believes the three men "knew what they were doing" by spray-painting the mannequin.

"These young men took the time to paint that dummy black," he said. "They were sending a message that says, 'This is what we think of black people.' We want to send a message that these types of actions will not be tolerated."

McGill and McCleod were released Tuesday from the Henry County Jail on $5,000 bond each. Parsons remained in jail Thursday afternoon. A preliminary hearing in the case has been reset for Oct. 4.