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Alabama Salon Receives Threatening Note Over Pride Flag; Suspect Arrested

by Sam Cronin
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Aug 9, 2019
83 year old James Willoughby Wood charged with misdemeanor for threatening letter
83 year old James Willoughby Wood charged with misdemeanor for threatening letter  (Source:Homewood PD/ABC3340)

Homewood, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham, joins the rank of cities to suffer from Pride-related drama. A local business, Salon U, received a threatening letter due to its flying of a rainbow Pride flag, and has since received an outpouring of support from community members, including a nearby Presbyterian Church.

The note, left on the backdoor to the salon, read: "This is not San Francisco or downtown Birmingham. This is Homewood which is a religious and family city. We suggest that you remove that flag before it is too late. We are concerned citizens. Good Bye."

Police have identified and arrested James Willoughby Wood in connection with the note, and charged him with a misdemeanor harassing communications, according to ABC 3340.

Michael Cash, a manager at Salon U, spoke to ABC about his reactions to the incident.

"(I felt) angry at first," he said. "Once I spoke with our owner he was like 'We have to understand that these kinds of people, whoever has done this, I don't want to say is misguided, but obviously may not be as informed as they should be and we want to extend our love and education in the best way we can because we're not here to judge.'"

Cash was the one who filed the police report, and said that he and the salon have received a "tremendous outpouring of love from clients, from neighboring businesses, just from the people of Homewood."

According to ABC reporter Lauren Walsh, the nearby Edgewood Presbyterian Church sent a letter of support to the salon after the incident.

According to AL.com, detectives have not yet determined Wood's motivation for the letter, or why he targeted Salon U in particular. His bond has been set at $300.


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