'Suicidal' Mannequin Yanked After 911 Calls
Cops tried to talk billboard feature out of jumping
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2015 8:14 AM CST
A mannequin sits on top of a Deery Brothers billboard on the southbound side of Highway 61 near Mediapolis, Iowa.    (AP Photo/The Hawk Eye, Josh Newell)

(Newser) – Brad Deery's billboard idea got plenty of attention for his car dealership but not quite the kind he had in mind: The Iowa man took down a mannequin from the sign after numerous motorists thought it was a person preparing to jump and called 911. The sign next to US Route 61 in Des Moines County read "I can see Deery Toyota, Nissan, Mazda from here," with the mannequin appearing to be gazing at a distant car lot, reports Reuters. Deery says police told him that the mannequin not only alarmed drivers, they were worried somebody might climb up to try to take a selfie with it.

"The sheriff didn't tell me to take it down, but when I heard about the 911 calls—I don't want to be tying up a line," Deery tells the AP. "I'm here to sell cars, not get people hurt." Police say that when they first received calls about the mannequin, deputies dispatched to the scene tried to talk it out of jumping, then pulled out their binoculars for a closer look when they realized it wasn't responding. (In Oklahoma City, an adult store's mannequins have been blamed for multiple car crashes.)