Saturday, October 26, 2002

Cross burning in rural Oxford Twp. investigated

The Cincinnati Enquirer

OXFORD TWP. - Police in this rural Butler County community are trying to find out who is behind a cross burning in a yard on Stillwell Beckett Road, and whether it was a hate crime.

Robert Legesse reported Oct. 20 that he returned home last weekend to find the charred remnants of a 3-foot wooden cross in his front yard in the 7600 block of Stillwell Beckett Road.

The Butler County Sheriff's Office was asked to assist the Oxford Township police in the investigation. Sheriff's Detective Monte Mayer his agency contacted the FBI because the incident could be considered ethnic intimidation.

"At this point, it's really tough to call. We don't know," said Detective Mayer.

Township police could not be reached Friday.

Trustee Joyce Woodruff, who lived on Stillwell Beckett for many years and now lives on another street nearby, said there had not been any racial problems in the area. "There have never been any incidents of this nature whatsoever in the past," she said.

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