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McCain Sign Stealing Boy Gets Zapped

From the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer:

Sign battle starts with a zzzzzzzt!

Jay Price, Staff Writer

October 31, 2008

CHAPEL HILL – After Shawn Turschak saw two sets of McCain-Palin signs disappear from his yard within hours of being planted, he took steps to protect the latest pair.

On Monday, he ran wires from his house and hooked the signs into a power source for an electric pet fence. Then he mounted a surveillance camera in a nearby tree and wired it to a digital recorder.

Tuesday afternoon, the camera saw this: A neighbor trotting up with an Obama-Biden sign, grabbing a handful of volts as he touched a McCain-Palin sign, then fleeing at top 9-year-old boy speed.

A few minutes later, the boy’s father, Andrew Noble, was at Turschak’s door, demanding an explanation from Turschak’s 13-year-old daughter, who called her parents on the phone to say a man was yelling at her. Both families agree on one aspect of the exchange, that Noble chastised her for “electrocuting” his son, then left.

The Turschaks hurried home and received another visitor: an Orange County sheriff’s deputy.

Campaign signs are vandalized or stolen so often that many people don’t report it, and, when they do, law officers often don’t investigate.

This time was different.

The corner of the Turschak’s yard where the signs are posted is a prominent point in the Oak Crest subdivision just south of Chapel Hill, so the homeowners association maintains it.

It’s far enough from the Turschaks’ home that it’s not obviously part of their yard, and the boy’s mother, Johanna Gisladottir, said she and many neighbors thought it was community property. They were troubled, she said, that someone had apparently claimed the corner on behalf of the Republican Party.

Her son, whom she declined to name, took the Obama sign to the corner on his own, she said, after being inspired by a discussion she had with a neighbor about adding one to the mix.

“I don’t know what his intention was when he ran out, or I would not have allowed him to leave,” Gisladottir said. “I honestly don’t think he had a concrete plan.”

Noble told an investigator that the boy had been trying to pull up the McCain sign so that he could see how it was constructed, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday.

The video, Turschak said, makes clear that the boy was planning to switch the signs, which are essentially sheathes that slip over metal framework. The boy had only brought the Democratic sheath, not the legs.

Not all the thefts, Turschak said, could have been caused by a misunderstanding about the land. One sign had been beside his driveway, and a next-door neighbor lost a McCain sign, too.

Turschak, who has a degree in electrical engineering, said he tested the shock on himself while wiring the signs, and did so again while a reporter watched Wednesday, touching both signs repeatedly without flinching. Under each was a yellow sign warning that they were electrified.

Turschak , it turns out, isn’t a member of Orange County’s perennially embattled Republicans, who are outnumbered nearly 3 to 1 by Democrats. He’s registered as an unaffiliated voter and said he doesn’t agree fully with either party.

“This isn’t about politics,” he said. “This is about my right to protect my property and my ability to display my beliefs.”

Capt. James Nida of the Sheriff’s Department talked to both families Wednesday. Nida, who as a child experienced the charms of electric fences, didn’t feel the need to test Turschak’s signs.

“Been there, done that,” he said.

Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass said he doesn’t plan to file charges. The deputy who investigated Tuesday said the pet-fence setup probably was legal, Turschak said, but perhaps more trouble than it was worth. Turschak said Wednesday morning that he would pull the plug on the signs. The camera, though, stayed.

And Wednesday afternoon while the Turschaks were at a daughter’s soccer game, it captured an angry-looking woman striding up.

“We got home and both signs were gone,” he said. “Broad daylight.”

Well, it’s a small victory.

But we’ll take it.

By the way, the other media accounts of this incident, such as the AP’s make this sound a lot more sinister than this article — which is the original report. 

(Thanks to Brad for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 31st, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “McCain Sign Stealing Boy Gets Zapped”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Best thing to ever hit the ultra-liberal Chapel Hill of NC:

    Charged campaign zaps Chapel Hill boy

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The presidential campaign has electrified the nation, and one Chapel Hill boy literally got jolted by it.

    The 9-year-old boy got a shock Monday from a campaign sign that a neighbor had hooked up to the power source for an electric pet fence.

    The neighbor, Shawn Turschak, said he was tired of people stealing McCain-Palin campaign signs from his yard, so he rigged two signs as booby traps.

    “I was just furious,” he said.

    His neighbor, Marion Houser, said she’s also had a McCain-Palin sign stolen from her yard.

    ……….Turschak, who has a degree in electrical engineering, said the current that ran through his electrified signs was so low it wouldn’t hurt someone, but he also put yellow warning signs up.

    “Obviously, we are not looking to hurt anyone. We simply want our signs to say put,” he said. “(The warning sign) just reminds you that you are touching somebody else’s property that you shouldn’t be.”

    He mounted a surveillance camera in a nearby tree and captured video of the 9-year-old getting shocked by one sign. The boy was carrying a sign for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at the time

    …….Turschak turned off the electrical system, but he caught another neighbor on camera Wednesday afternoon stealing his signs.

    Some neighbors suggested the area where Turschak posted the sign belongs to the subdivision. He maintained it was his property and said people should respect his right to express his opinion even if they don’t agree with his views.

    “I could ride around Chapel Hill with a dump truck and in two hours fill it up with Obama signs,” he said. “I choose not to do that.”


    Imagine the outrage if someone where stealing Obama signs. I love those tolerant, open minded liberals. Aren’t they great?

  2. Anonymoose says:

    One of my neighbors when I lived in a small town would electrify his political signs, but he was a prominent Democrat. His signs were also vandalized, but mainly because he was a very unpopular person.

    What these people should have done is post a sign prominently saying that this sign was on their property, and all thefts would be taped and reported. The electric fence, no matter how mild, will end up getting turned around as some evil Republican plot.

    It’s unusual that there’s a cluster of Democrats in North Carolina, but I wonder if this isn’t part of the Research Triangle crowd. Either way, it shows the Dems can’t handle any opposition.

  3. clifcrds says:

    but I wonder if this isn’t part of the Research Triangle crowd

    A freeper suggested it is this person :

    Andrew Noble
    Professor of Statistics 308 Hanes Building
    Department of Statistics and Operations Research Tel: 919.962.1352
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Fax: 919.962.1279

    nobel (at) email (dot) unc (dot) edu

    Are we talking about this Andrew Noble and his son???

    57 posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:03:34 AM by Billg64 (LOL ROFL Senator Mccain for what????)

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    A conserative in Chapel Hill? Now thats funny!!! It should have knocked him on his azz!! Can anyone find out if he flies an American flag too? Reason being is Ive been through Chapel Hill many times ( I live in N.C,) and haven’t seen any!! Kinda like Baraks, Ayers and Farrikans neighborhood.

  5. 1sttofight says:

    Strange that the parents of the little thief do not have the same last name. Shacking up with a 9 year old child?

  6. “Both families agree on one aspect of the exchange, that Noble chastised her for “electrocuting” his son, then left.”

    Andrew Noble: typical loser (and probably an Obama supporter, to boot).

    No apology for his kid stealing from the neighbor, just anger that he got caught & punished.


  7. curvyred says:

    Sorry for some reason my bullship detector is ringing loud and clear because of the following:

    “Her son, whom she declined to name, took the Obama sign to the corner on his own, she said, after being inspired by a discussion she had with a neighbor about adding one to the mix.

    “I don’t know what his intention was when he ran out, or I would not have allowed him to leave,” Gisladottir said. “I honestly don’t think he had a concrete plan.”

    Reminds me of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08BAfKCfu74

    And: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOtGr1JFCnE

  8. Byrd says:

    Would like to see the “angry-looking woman striding up” also.

  9. 1sttofight says:

    Any bets the “angry-looking woman striding up” was the boys mother?

  10. sheehanjihad says:

    I would like to see the “angry looking woman” laying prone in the dirt with a huge dent in her forehead for trespassing.

  11. take_no_prisoners says:

    Too bad the guy didn’t know someone at a bank who could provide him with the dye-packs they put in the till to identify the bank robbers. He could have swapped out the electric fence for some dye-packs and the angry-looking women would have had some ‘splainin to do. We all know the lady probably put the kid up to swapping the signs–now she feels bad for throwing her own kid under the bus.

  12. brad says:

    How about apologizing for the brat’s behavior? Look at that sneaky punk walking up there! Oops! That hurt!

    NO! Democrats comb the law books to see if the other guy broke any laws.

    Is the sign really on his property?
    Isn’t the corner / ditch etc owned by the county for cutting grass etc?
    Is it legal to electrify such a thing?
    Can we sue for pain and suffering?
    Can the family be charged with neglect?
    Can the family be charged with abuse of a child?
    Does the family have any warrants or back taxes owed?
    Is their property up to code of all state, town, county ordinances?

    It’s too bad the family didn’t pay some guy out of prison to watch that sign for $100, then do god knows what to anyone approaching it.

  13. DEZ says:

    Little bastard is raised to have zero respect for other peoples property and other people by parents that teach intolerance.
    Little bastard, steals, trespasses and gets away with it.
    Little bastard has his ass video taped trying to pull his stunts once again, gets a zap and runs home pouting like the liberal candy ass his parents have raised.
    Candy ass dad comes over and breaks bad on a young girl because his intolerant liberal brat is acting like an intolerant liberal brat, just as mom and dad taught him to do.

    Moral to this story boys and girls, teach your children to be proficient with fire arms, so when this happens to your family, candy ass liberal dad is picking buckshot out of his liberal ass.

  14. imnewatthis says:

    Yeah, this doesn’t surprise me at all. My brother works at UNC Chapel Hill and that area is a little like my little corner of Western Mass. I had to drive all the way to Worcester to see my one and only McCain bumper sticker.

  15. imnewatthis says:

    I know I’ve mentioned this before, but speaking of liberal intolerance to differing opinions, you guys have got to go to massresistance,org and watch the video of Smith College lesbians forcing speaker Ryan Sorba to abort his speech. (video 2)

  16. erikmartin says:

    It looks like Hillary was right after all…

    It does take a village to raise a child.

  17. JohnMG says:

    erikmartin; ……”It does take a village to raise a child……”

    Not the whole village………just the village idiot. Or is it a village full of idiots? Or an idiot village? Or………?

    Aughhhhhhh!! This is all so confusing. Waaaaaaaaaanh!

    Will Rogers said it best; “I don’t belong to any organized political party–I’m a democrat.”

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