He says the cross-burning was for Halloween - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

He says the cross-burning was for Halloween

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - A Canton man accused of burning a cross in front of his home says he was arrested in a misunderstanding over his Halloween decorations.

Thirty-six-year-old Shane Helson says he wanted to make his annual yard display more authentic and set fire to the T-shaped wooden stand that holds up his scarecrow so it would look more weathered.

The fire department responded Tuesday night, and a police complaint says Helson continued to spray lighter fluid on the wood after authorities arrived.

He was charged keeping a disorderly house. If convicted of the misdemeanor, he'd face up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. Helson is white, as is next-door neighbor Stephanie Blankenship.

But her husband is black, and Blankenship says she felt intimidated.

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