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UNC Mascot Death May Be Solved

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CHAPEL HILL — Police in Chapel Hill say they have madean arrest in connection with the February slashing death of a ram that was the football mascot at the University of North Carolina.

Police say it appears the suspect wanted the animal for food. OrangeCounty District Attorney Carl Fox did not have many details about thesuspect, Scott Wade, 26, of Orange County (pictured at right).

Wade was arrested last Monday and has been charged with cruelty toanimals, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 120 days in jail.

Investigators say Wade killed the ram apparently for food.

The mascot was called Rameses, and had lived at the Hogan family farmat Calvander in Orange County. The late Henry Hogan had been a lineman on the 1924 UNC team, when theteam adopted the ram as mascot in honor of star fullback Jack Merritt.who was known as the "battering ram." Hogan volunteered his familyfarm as Rameses' home, and Rameses XXIII was the animal living at the farmuntil the February attack.

Mascots are integral parts of every team from grade school through professional teams, and embody sporting spirit for teams and fans alike.

Reaction on the campus was immediate. UNC student Geoff Hamilton sayshe was appalled about the killing.

Student David Weinman says he's glad an arrest was made.

Rameses wasseen most often at Tar Heel football games, whencheerleaders escorted him onto the field on a leash..

Wade is currently free. He has his first court appearance inHillsborough December 2, 1996.

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