UNC Mascot Death May Be Solved
Posted November 22, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST
CHAPEL HILL — Police in Chapel Hill say they have made an 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. Orange County District Attorney Carl Fox did not have many details about the suspect, Scott Wade, 26, of Orange County (pictured at right).
Wade was arrested last Monday and has been charged with cruelty to animals, 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 farm at Calvander in Orange County. The late Henry Hogan had been a lineman on the 1924 UNC team, when the team adopted the ram as mascot in honor of star fullback Jack Merritt. who was known as the "battering ram." Hogan volunteered his family farm as Rameses' home, and Rameses XXIII was the animal living at the farm until 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 says he was appalled about the killing.
Student David Weinman says he's glad an arrest was made.
Rameses was seen most often at Tar Heel football games, when cheerleaders escorted him onto the field on a leash..
Wade is currently free. He has his first court appearance in Hillsborough December 2, 1996.