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Published May 16, 2012, 05:12 PM

Wisconsin woman's 'ex-husband sale' stops traffic

SUPERIOR, Wis. - A public display of anger over love gone wrong — or a celebration over a marriage ended — caused traffic delays here Wednesday.

By: Forum Communications Co., INFORUM

SUPERIOR, Wis. - A public display of anger over love gone wrong — or a celebration over a marriage ended — caused traffic delays here Wednesday.

Large signs reading “X-HUSBAND SALE” and “FREE” by a pile of discarded belongings in the front yard of 202 N. 21st St. caused passersby to slow down and check out what was there. But it was the once-green GMC Yukon SUV with flat tires and “cheater” and obscenities spray-painted all over it that slowed traffic to a halt and got the cameras clicking.

Police arrived at the house in mid-afternoon and talked to a woman inside, but no one answered the door after that when a reporter knocked. The vandalized vehicle was towed from the driveway in front of the house a short time later to keep traffic flowing.

Superior police Sgt. William Lear said there’s no law against spray painting a vehicle in one’s own yard.

“If it’s a running vehicle and someone wants to paint their own car, they can do it,” he said.

What about questionable language painted on it?

“Depends on the language; there’s a fine line there,” Lear said. “If it’s creating a disturbance, if there’s threats, if it’s blocking traffic, we can tow it.”

According to court records, a woman who lived at that address filed for divorce against her husband in Douglas County Circuit Court last July. The couple got their marriage license in 1997, records show.

They could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

A neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the incident began Tuesday after the divorce became final. She said the vehicle was spray painted by several people and the items put in the front yard between 4 and 8 p.m. That’s when people started stopping for a closer look.

“It looked like they had a painting party,” the neighbor said. “She cleaned out her husband’s stuff.”

It was a getting-rid-of-the-husband type of thing, she said.

“I guess it was her kind of relief, her way to get rid of her anger,” the woman said.

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