MANDEVILLE -- A Saturday evening birthday celebration along the lakefront was spoiled when Erica Daigle and her husband arrived back at their car to find something on the windshield.
"It was just this horrible, disgusting racist picture that someone had put on all of the cars in the parking lot," she said.
The image features a cartoon drawing showing a sex act between a black man and a white woman with the words "Your Daughter, Thank Integration."
In addition to being found on the vehicles in Barley Oak's parking lot, they were found on the business' ground-floor outdoor tables, as well as on vehicles along the Lakefront in the Girod Street area.
Another Saturday night customer of Barley Oak reports that she witnessed a middle-aged, white male with a baseball cap placing papers on cars around 7 p.m., but never saw the content.
The owner of Barley Oak says the fliers are disgusting and the distribution of it on and around his property and to his customers is harassment.
"It's hurtful, and it's traumatizing for people who have to see it," Daigle said.
Even people who didn't see it first-hand are upset about it, especially since it was left out in a busy area where families frequent.
"This is not a place for hate or for racism," said Tina Anderson. "I know that a lot of racists feel emboldened these last few months, but I think that they are very few and far between, and they're going to be found out and they're going to be shamed and hopefully leave the area."
Mandeville Police Asst. Chief Ron Ruple said this is not first time they've seen the fliers in that area. Ruple said they've had about half-a-dozen reports over the past couple of years and, in fact, made an arrest last summer.
That case, a misdemeanor charge of distributing material harmful to minors, is pending trial.
Police said they are taking this case just as serious.
"We're going to investigate this one, now that we're aware of it, and we'll take the investigation where it leads and we'll deal with it in whatever manner we're available to," Ruple said. Potential charges can range from littering to obscenity.
Daigle said she wants to keep Mandeville a place with heart, not hate.
"I want to scare these people away," Daigle said. "I want them to know that their message isn't working. It doesn't work here. We're not going to listen to this."
Mandeville Police said if anyone finds one of these fliers or has information about the person distributing them Saturday night on the Lakefront to call (985) 626-9711.
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