A Charlotte pastor says a bag of rocks was discovered near his uptown church earlier this week, and he says police told him similar bags have been found around town.
The Rev. Pat Earl, of St. Peter Catholic Church on South Tryon Street, told the Observer that church officials found a cloth bag filled with rocks Monday. The bag was on a bench in the garden courtyard, between the church sanctuary and its offices.
St. Peter is at the south side of The Green, in the South Tryon performing arts area.
The discovery comes days before the start of the Democratic National Convention. A number of protest groups are planning to stage demonstrations this weekend and during the convention, which takes place Sept. 4-6.
Earl told The Observer he called police after the rocks were discovered and says police told him similar bags were found elsewhere in Charlotte.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police did not respond to a request for information in the case.
The priest said the bag held 20 or more rocks, which Earl described as being baseball-sized or larger. He said the bag was left right out in the open.
Asked what he thought the rocks might be used for, Earl said, I really dont know. You hear of groups coming to Charlotte with no good in mind, but that would be sheer conjecture on my part.
Staff writer Mike Gordon contributed