PUTNAM LAKE - State Assemblyman Greg Ball, R-Patterson, said this afternoon that he won't be intimidated because someone dumped a dead goat outside his Putnam Lake home Wednesday night.
State police are investigating but declined to release much information, citing the open case.
"Whether this crime was perpetrated by gang members, or some sick local individual, I will not be cowed by threats, and I condemn this kind of heinous violent behavior towards animals," Ball said. "I want my constituents to know that I will continue my efforts to stand up every day for justice, and the people of the Hudson Valley."
A note written on cardboard in a crude Spanish was tied around the goat's neck and made a vulgar reference to Ball. It also said viva MS-13, an apparent reference to Mara Salvatrucha, a notorious Central American gang that some of Ballís political allies have said operates in Brewster although police have never found credible evidence of its presence.
"It looked as though the animal had been trapped or dragged," Ball said.
Meanwhile, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said today that it will provide increased personal security for Ball in the wake of the incident, although it declined to say how.
"When such a menacing act is directed against a government official, it may be perceived as an effort to chill or even thwart the workings of government by threat of violence; in such a case, it may be said that all of society is being victimized by the deed," Capt. William McNamara said in an e-mail today.
Ball said he had planned to stay in Albany until Thursday but instead returned a day early. After stopping at his Assembly office in Southeast, Ball drove to his Putnam Lake home at 8 Seward Road, spotting the dead goat in his headlights about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday.
"It looked as though the animal had been trapped or dragged," Ball said.

He said the female goat probably weighed about 90 pounds and had a laceration on one of its front legs. He said he called the police as soon as he saw the carcass. He didn't notice any other obvious marks or wounds.
"If someone actually killed this animal to make a political point, then they need help," Ball said.
State police declined to say how the goat may have died.
Given the cold night, Ball speculated the animal had been recently killed and dumped because it wasn't yet stiff. The temperature was about 14 degrees. Ball said he hoped the animal wasn't someone's pet that was stolen and killed for this purpose.
Ball, 31, has in the past referred to milking goats. At his 30th birthday party at a North Salem restaurant in September 2007, Ball's affinity for goats was on display in many of the photos around the room that showed him posing with the animals through the years.