Resident’s Trump sign damaged and stolen from property

A Shelton resident is upset after his Donald Trump yard signs for the 2016 presidential election were stolen and most recently vandalized with spray paint early Monday, Aug. 22.

Gary Pettinella of Mayflower Lane said his Trump for President yard signs repeatedly being stolen from his property over the past few months led him to creating a sign that couldn’t be stolen. He created a larger four-by-eight-foot yard sign made of plywood with a vinyl cover that read, “We shall overcomb, Rebuild America 2016 Pence.”

“I knew it was a matter of time before the larger sign got damaged,” said Pettinella. “We have the lights attached to the sign lit up at night but they go off at 2 a.m. So on Monday morning between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. someone came and painted it.”

The person who vandalized the sign painted a penis, an anti semitic symbol, and crossed out the messages initially shown. Pettinella said in an effort to cover up the vandal’s work, he put “goof-off” on the sign but it was also removing the messages he originally intended to be on the sign.

“The parts that were white, I was able to get that off,” said Pettinella. “I didn’t want to leave that stuff on there for a kid to see.”

Pettinella said he doesn’t fully support all of Trump’s statements but doesn’t condone other’s violating people’s freedom of speech. Since his effort to rid the vandal’s messages, he has covered the entire sign with a sheet that says, “Trump 2016.”

He said he plans to put up a new sign soon, as well as a banner to be hanging from his home.

“I’m a big Trump supporter and that we need someone out of politics to run our country,” said Pettinella.

A number of people have been seen coming to Pettinella’s residence to take pictures of and with his sign. He said he has communicated with his neighbors about his plans to put up the initial sign as well as his plans to put up new ones in its place.

“I have neighbors who don’t like Donald Trump, fortunately they like me,” said Pettinella. “The ones that like Trump are happy that I stood up for what I believe in.”

Pettinella said surveillance cameras on his property have helped to give police a description of a suspect. The investigation remains open and anyone with information should contact Shelton Police at (203) 924-1544.