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Halloween Obama effigy prop removed after Secret Service visit

October 24, 2012 |  9:57 am

A Moreno Valley man who hung an effigy of President Obama from a tree called the incident a "misunderstanding" Tuesday, saying it was a Halloween party prop "getting all blown out of proportion."

Eddie Million spoke to reporters after he was questioned by Secret Service agents late Tuesday, the Press-Enterprise reported.

"It's down. It's gone. We didn't want to hurt the president," Million told the newspaper. "It was just for a party."

Million said he bought the Obama mask last Halloween and decided to put it on a human-like figure and hang it because he was looking for "something spooky" for his annual Halloween party.

But then someone complained, the media found out and the police stopped by Million's home on Monday.

"I started thinking how bad it looked, and I took it down immediately," Million said. "If I had it to do all over again, I absolutely wouldn't have done it. It was not meant to offend anybody. It was just supposed to be a decoration."

The Secret Service declined to talk to the Press-Enterprise, but Million said he was told the incident "could have been construed as a threat to the president."

"They said my name is going to be on file," he said.

It wasn't the first time a political effigy has brought the Secret Service to the Southland around Halloween. In 2008, agents investigated a West Hollywood man who hung a life-size mannequin of then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin from a noose outside his home.

Also that year, a Redondo Beach resident drew attention for a "Nobama" Halloween display that included a bloody effigy of the would-be president with a giant butcher knife through its neck.

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

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