CONOVER — The act of a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) hood and robe and walking his dog and waving at traffic along Highway K is not supported by the people of the county, according to Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath.

The sheriff’s department issued a statement today (June 16) about the Friday, June 12, incident in the town of Conover. 

The sheriff’s office received a call about 9:09 p.m. reporting the man walking his dog on Highway K near Monheim Road east of Conover. The man allegedly was drinking a beer and waving at traffic.

According to the sheriff’s office, a crime was not reported to authorities; only that it was suspicious in nature.

Sheriff Fath said there were two additional calls reporting the same thing. One caller reported a post on Facebook with a photograph of the man. Another caller identified the man as Charles Booth, 50, of Con­over.

A deputy responded to the call and identified the man standing in his driveway. According to Fath, the man was not creating a traffic hazard, nor violating any Wisconsin state statute. 

“Rumors have been circulating that he was jumping in traffic and throwing items at cars. Neither of these circumstances were reported to law enforcement,” the press release stated.

While the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office was not able to take enforcement action, Fath said the sheriff’s office does not condone his behavior or actions. 

“The KKK beliefs run contrary to Vilas County law enforcement’s mission, values and beliefs,” the press release continued. “We thank those that have come forward and informed us of the situation so that we may deal with it in a manner that continues to develop strong community partnerships.”

The KKK is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

“We strongly discourage this type of actions in Vilas County. We will be vigilant and continue to monitor this man’s actions. Our patrol staff knows of this man and we frequently patrol this area of Vilas County,” the press release states. “This incident certainly is not supported by the people of Conover or the rest of Vilas County.”