Albion police have concerns about stunt rider’s past
Scott Caraboolad used to sell T-shirts with anti-police message
ALBION – Scott Caraboolad doesn’t shy away from his past, when he was a drug addict who squandered a fortune as a professional stunt rider.
Caraboolad was in Orleans County for three days last October sharing his story about getting hooked on drugs and then breaking free from addiction. He visited three school districts and shared his story – and daring stunt rides – at community events in Albion, Medina and at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Knowlesville. He is now the leader of the Ride4Life ministry.
He is due to return Sept. 13-15. However, the Albion Police Department and Albion Village Board aren’t sure they want him back. The Albion Police Department were shown photos and links to Starboyz, a website Caraboolad used to be a part of that sells anti-police T-shirts such as “Cops Lie!” and “FTP” for F— the Police. There are also videos of Caraboolad online doing dangerous stunts on a motorcycle with traffic on an open road.
“I’m all about telling kids that drugs are bad, but this is an individual who has profited off slandering police,” Albion police officer Karol Hughes told the Village Board on Wednesday.
Hughes is president of the Albion police officers’ union. He said the website with the anti-police T-shirts is still active.
Caraboolad and Ride4Life are scheduled for an event in Albion on Sept. 14. The village approved closing off a section of East State Street in front of the courthouse for the show.
Police Chief Roland Nenni told the board he didn’t support bringing in Caraboolad.
“I find it really disturbing,” the police chief said. “It really bothers our officers.”
Nenni said he wasn’t aware until recently that Caraboolad previously encouraged an anti-police message.
A group of churches that are part of PACT – Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation – have taken the lead in bringing in Caraboolad. Other backers include the Sheriff’s Office, Orleans United Drug Free Communities Coalition, Suicide Prevention Coalition of Orleans County, the Genesee-Orleans Opioid Task Force and other agencies.
Caraboolad traveled from Akron, Ohio to Orleans County to share his story of drug and alcohol addiction and how he came back from nearly attempting suicide. He credits his new-found faith in Christ. Caraboolad said he was trying to find happiness in material possessions and money, but overcame his addictions after turning to God.
Tim Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, shared the Albion police chief’s concerns with Caraboolad today. Caraboolad said the Starboyz predates his Christian transformation. Caraboolad was a partner with that website and has walked away from it, but a former partner keeps it going, said Lindsay, who is pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Albion.
Lindsay has a son who is a police officer. Lindsay said he knew Caraboolad was a recovering addict, but didn’t know he previously promoted an anti-police message.
The two were on the phone for an hour today and Lindsay is more amazed of Caraboolad’s turnaround.
“Yes, there is stuff out there in his past, but I’m more convinced than ever that he is who he says he is,” Lindsay said. “He is a genuine man.”
The pastor said he is understands the concerns of the police.
“Right now it’s a hard time in our country to be a cop,” Lindsay said.
He welcomed the community to hear Caraboolad on Sunday. He will be giving a message during a 6 p.m. prayer and worship service at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.
Lindsay said he is hopeful the Albion Village Board and Police Department will support Caraboolad after hearing more of his story.