Black couple find beheaded toy hanged in yard

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A black homeowner in Commerce Township who found a stuffed animal hanging from a tree by a rope in his back yard is claiming ethnic intimidation, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday.

The man found the hanged stuffed animal — which had its head cut off and its arms taped behind his back — just before 10 a.m. Saturday on the 9000 block of Gittins Boulevard, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The Sheriff’s Office said the home is near Lower Straits Lake; Google Maps shows it near Long Lake.

The man and his wife are both black, police say, and the couple told police they have had a number of troubling race-related incidents since moving to the area just over two years ago.

Boaters have pulled up to their property and pointed at them, the family said. At a neighbor’s barbecue in June, someone allegedly “called out the N-word” while the wife was in the yard, the Sheriff’s Office said.

jdickson@detroitnews.com