Residents: KKK promotional literature found in New Lenox Township
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY email@example.com October 18, 2013 9:34AM
Updated: November 21, 2013 6:36AM
On Wednesday, fliers were found in New Lenox Township driveways promoting the Ku Klux Klan.
Thursday was garbage day, and that’s where most of them apparently ended up, according to some residents.
“I put it in the trash. I didn’t want it lying around,” Janice Deller said. “I thought it was bizarre.”
It was a small sheet of paper tucked into a sandwich bag and weighted with a rock. The paper said, “Save our land. Join the Klan,” and included a phone number, Deller said.
Prairie Road is a quiet four-block-long street, from Joliet Highway to Illinois Highway, with mostly older homes, not too far from Old Plank Road Trail, the popular bike and walking path. Residents said they never have had any problems and had mixed reactions to the fliers that they believed were dropped off sporadically in the middle of the night.
Not every home got one.
“I think they’re nuts,” Irving Erickson said. “My hunch is that it’s a bunch of young kids. I just threw it away. I think most people did that.”
“I’m always out there picking up trash, and when I saw this, I said, ‘Are you serious?’ ” Deller said. “If you want to stir up trouble, go into an area that is in transition.”
Since then, she’s heard of fliers also being distributed in other parts of unincorporated New Lenox Township and the Mokena area.
Unfortunately, her neighbors, who are Hispanic, “freaked out” when they got one and thought they were being targeted, Deller said.
“I told them, ‘It is absolutely not you,’ ” she said.
Deller, from southern Maryland, said she is familiar with Klan activities and rallies.
“You have to let them spew what they want to spew,” she said.
She called the Will County Sheriff’s police just to make them aware of it.
“It can escalate from fliers to slashed tires to things burning in your yard,” she said. “I don’t think that will happen here. But I will be paying more attention to people going up and down the street.”
Cassandra Higgins said she was annoyed when she saw fliers in the driveways up and down the block.
“I was hoping it was a kid prank,” she said. But kids would not have bothered to put the fliers in sandwich bags and secure them with rocks, she said.
Personally, she said she would have ignored it, but she was concerned for her tenants, who were the ones who found it in the driveway.
“They just moved in and were perplexed. I’d be the same way if I was not familiar with the neighborhood,” Higgins said. So to protect her tenants, she also called Will County Sheriff’s police.
Higgins, who talked to others on the block, said some were upset, but “wrote it off.”
No one filed a police report on the incident, sheriff’s spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer said.
“We don’t know if it is a prank. We don’t know if it was just that neighborhood,” she said. “Until someone makes a formal report, there is nothing we can do. We are keeping our eyes and ear open.”
New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann said he had not received any calls about the incident and does not know if the fliers are legitimate.
“I don’t want any part of this,” he said. “We do not need vigilantes. Why are they picking on New Lenox?”
Some neighbors said Klan flyers were distributed several years ago.
“I don’t know if it’s a fluke. I could care less, as long as they leave me alone,” said Cheryl Sarwas, who did not receive a flier. “We’ve never had any problems on this block. There’s a lot of kids here and they are always playing together.”