Odd signs frustrate residents in DeKalb neighborhood - KMSP-TV

Odd signs frustrate residents in DeKalb neighborhood

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

Residents in a DeKalb County neighborhood say they are perplexed and disturbed over signs going up in one man's yard. They say the bizarre signs all over a Mason Mill yard are just part of the problem.

Bizarre messages, inflammatory language, monkeys hanging from nooses and Christmas decorations -- it's a strange spectacle in a quiet DeKalb County neighborhood.

"Some of the things he actually puts out there are just not appropriate for young kids and children," said Ron Mihelic.

John Avery attempted to explain the purpose behind the strange signs in his yard to FOX 5's Justin Gray.

"It's all about what I've gradually learned doing internet searches. I'm trying to find a religion. I consider myself an amateur atheist philosopher," said Avery.

But neighbors say it's gotten out of hand.

For 42 years, Emory theology professor George Gary lived on the street, but he says he moved in large part because of Avery's strange behavior.

"He would stand at the mailbox over there and wait on me going to work in the mornings and would yell things to me about, ‘you are going to hell,'" said Gary.

The Garys got a restraining order against their neighbor -- then the signs went up. So they put the home for rent and moved out, but the signs stayed.

"If you wanna see the truth you're gonna have to leap," said Avery.

DeKalb County Code Enforcement has have issued two citations. They told Avery to either take down the signs or go to court.

Neighbors say they're fed up with the signs and concerned about what could happen next.

"Right now, it's just him putting things in his yard but where can it lead to," said Mihelic.

Avery says he plans on fighting the citations about his signs in court. But even if he loses, all he would face are relatively minor fines.

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