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Hudson man cited for size of profane sign

By Times Staff Writer
Published August 12, 2005

HUDSON - A 43-year-old man was cited Tuesday for painting a sign that reads "Die you miserable bitch" on a house he owns, Pasco County sheriff's deputies said.

A neighbor dying of cancer, 73-year-old Carol Hastrich, is believed by her family to be the subject of the message, deputies said.

The words were spray-painted in black on the side of the house facing Hastrich's front yard.

But it was not the meaning of the message that led to Derick Cooper's citation. Deputies told Hastrich's family the message did not violate any laws, her daughter Dea Albertson said Wednesday.

Instead, Cooper was cited for an illegal sign because the wording exceeded the permitted size for a sign in a residential area, Pasco Code Enforcement Officer Patrick Phillips said.

Cooper was also cited for illegal dumping on the property and for a general storage violation related to old tires and other debris on the property, Phillips said.

Cooper received a final citation for operating a commercial business on the residential property.

Albertson told a Times reporter Wednesday that she and her mother, as well as other neighbors, had complained to officials about the waste on Cooper's property for years.

The sign, Albertson said, is retribution for their complaints.

Since he received the code violation citations on Tuesday, Phillips said, Cooper has cooperated with an order to remove the sign and clean up his property.

The black lettering on the side of the house wasn't legible Wednesday.

[Last modified August 12, 2005, 00:47:15]

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