A woman who terrorized her neighbor with scary dolls and threatening messages on the adjacent fence has been jailed.
Cheryl Lynn Pytleski, 64, of Ozark, Alabama, launched a years-long hate campaign against her neighbors using racist and offensive dolls.
Her neighbor’s ordeal began in 2019 when Pytleski hung the racist dolls with messages referencing the KKK and lynching on her Black neighbor’s fence.
The black dolls were labeled with mocking slogans such as “KKK,” “Boo Hoo,” and other obscenities.
It was immediately clear to residents of the small town about 75 miles southeast of Montgomery that the dolls and signs were part of a racist hate campaign against Pytleski’s neighbors.
“That’s not the case [sic] “It takes a genius to see a black doll with a rope around its neck hanging from a post or a tree with KKK,” resident Leonard Herring told the local ABC affiliate WDHN TV.
According to others in the area, there have been many attempts to take down the dolls, but nothing has worked so far.
“Until Saturday, this was the backdrop for the last two weeks of our lives,” Herring said.
The police intervened and told Pytleski to move the dolls to the other side of the fence, but that only spurred them to make more dolls.
“The most recent doll she hung up with ‘crybaby’ written on it after the police came out and told them they had to take it down,” Herring said.
Residents told the local news station that police were patrolling the area during this time to ensure everyone’s safety.
“We take the threat to our citizens who live comfortably in Ozark very seriously,” said Ozark Police Sergeant Everett Evans.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again.”
On October 18, 2019, Pytleski was arrested and taken into custody on harassment charges.
According to prosecutors, the angry neighbor admitted to targeting her neighbors because of their race.
In March 2023, she pleaded guilty to a criminal violation of the Fair Housing Act and received a 12-month prison sentence.
The DOJ stated in a Press releasethat anyone can violate the Fair Housing Act by threatening or intentionally intimidating someone because of their race, color, religion or other characteristics.