Man charged in noose threat against co-worker

September 4, 2008 4:35:45 AM PDT
A white man placed a hangman's noose in work space shared with a black colleague because he was upset the co-worker had been accepted into a management training program for minorities, federal authorities said Wednesday. William Gould, 62, of Philadelphia, was charged with interfering with employment by threat of violence. He hung the noose Aug. 11 at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he worked as an electrician, authorities said.

The victim, also an electrician, saw the noose when he went to retrieve a drill from his locker. He associated the noose with the lynching of blacks and began fearing for his safety, prosecutors said.

"It is utterly disheartening to see such ethnic intimidation occur in our country," acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid said in a statement.

Gould had complained about the minority training program on numerous occasions to co-workers and hospital executives, allegedly saying the program was unfair, authorities said.

He admitted hanging the noose when questioned by an FBI investigator, according to court documents.

Gould made his initial court appearance Wednesday after being arrested. He did not yet have an attorney but was released on bail.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

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