Woman's Police Mannequin Display Sparks Outrage

| by Sean Kelly
a mannequin with a deputy's name and target on ita mannequin with a deputy's name and target on it

A California woman pleaded guilty after being accused of hanging mannequins with targets drawn on them, as well as the names of San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies.

On March 8, Sarah Stewart, 36, pleaded guilty to one felony count of resisting an executive officer by means of threats and violence, and she now faces four years in prison.

San Bernardino Captain Donald Mahoney said Stewart came up with the plan, and 47-year-old Erin Elder helped her erect the mannequins.

"They're actually attached to a white supremacist group, and so with that, we believe they had done this as an intimidation factor," he said, according to ABC 7.

Mahoney added that when deputies found the first mannequin they were amused.

"We thought it was strange, and maybe even had a couple laughs about it at first, thinking wow someone has gotten our attention," he said.

On Feb. 17, Stewart reportedly texted skinhead and drug dealer Jason Averhart to let him know that she had "placed the things throughout the city that they had talked about," San Jose Mercury News reports.

"This appeared to be Stewart bragging to Averhart," a sheriff's report read. "This shows Stewart is attempting to better the gang and impress upon her other skinheads."

At the time of the text, Averhart was in custody after being arrested on a drug charge. The text was read by the arresting officer after he got consent from Averhart to search his phone.

"I don't think she would have sent the text if she knew [Averhart] was in custody," Sheriff's station spokesman Gilbert Flores said.

Stewart, officers believe, hung the mannequins in an attempt to "rally the troops" against law enforcement.

"Stewart's threats are very serious and I believe she placed these named mannequins up as threats in the name of the gang," one deputy wrote in the report.

"Our deputies targeted locations that were known to be frequented by Stewart, and when they contacted people in and around those areas, they found people with warrants or under the influence, and they took those people into custody," Flores added.

Stewart is scheduled to be sentenced on April 6.

Sources: ABC 7, San Jose Mercury News / Photo credit: San Jose Mercury News

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