FRITCH, TX (CBSDFW.COM/CBS Local) – A billboard in Texas has gone viral with a message for folks of a particular political persuasion and now the person who posted the image online – and the billboard company – are receiving threats.
“Liberals, Please continue on I-40 until you have left our great State of Texas,” reads the sign.
Kyle Mccallie of Fritch, TX posted the image on his Facebook page yesterday and the post quickly attracted attention on social media. “Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it,” Mccallie said in the post.
As of late Wednesday morning, the image was shared more than 15,000 times.
And as the number of shares increased, so too did the death threats. So much so, that the company that owns the billboard, Burkett Outdoor Advertising, is taking it down.
Owner Randy Burkett told CBS 11 News Wednesday afternoon that the unidentified client wants the billboard taken down. “We’re a firm believer in First Amendment rights,” said Burkett. But he said the client told him that his intention was not to divide the country and wanted to remove the billboard.
Mccallie meantime told CBS 11 News he has received at least ten threats from people saying they were going to show up at his house and “snap his neck.” “Lots of hate mail and death threats. But lots of ‘we love it’ also,” said Mccallie.
Mccallie posted one of the threats he allegedly received on his Facebook feed with the message “We’ve gotta hater on our hands!” The message from a person identified as James J Wallace appeared to be a clear threat telling Mccallie to “expect a visit” calling him a “small town country bumpkin” – as well as some other expletives that cannot be printed here. Mccallie responded, “Would you like to have a beer or something? I’m not sure what you’re getting at?”
“I don’t need a gun to snap your neck you little punk,” allegedly read another message sent to Mccallie.
As the threats continued from Wallace, Mccallie replied, “Just a fair warning due to the price of ammo I can’t afford to give a warning shot so bring a buddy to help out you back in your car…”
Mccallie seems to be taking the situation – and threats – in stride but he says he is keeping an eye out. “I think they are just keyboard warriors and telephone tough guys,” said Maccallie. “If they show up and have beef at my house then I will handle it accordingly.” He has a message for anyone who would show up with ill intentions. “Don’t enter someone else’s property without permission is all I can say!”
According to KYTX-TV, Mccallie saw the sign on Tuesday along a route he travels regularly for work.
Burkett said that Big Texas Steak Ranch will soon be on that billboard in its place.
Burkett said he has received many calls from media and that his web site has crashed. He said he has also received threats and that his web site has crashed several times.
No word on who the client was that hired Burkett Outdoor Advertising to post the billboard. Burkett said they do not release the names of clients.