WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Political campaigns often inspire supporters to pull some dirty tricks in the run-up to Election Day. Among the most common is campaign signs damaged or even stolen. Many times there is no proof, but one candidate for Wilmington Mayor caught a vandal on video.
It was just before midnight on Monday, October 10, when a man in a long, light-colored coat tried to take down a “LaNasa for Mayor” sign. The man quickly walked away as a car approaches, but he returned six hours later to finish the job.
“(I) checked out the surveillance footage, and it was an old guy in a expensive jacket with a pair of Crocs on ripping my sign down,” candidate Justin LaNasa said.
LaNasa will not say where exactly he put this camera, but it is obvious that it sits high above. The candidate for Wilmington Mayor decided to put cameras up after some of his signs were damaged. At first he thought it may have been some kids, but only two days after putting a camera by this sign, LaNasa had a visual of the suspect. It’s left him calling out supporters of incumbent Mayor Bill Saffo.
“They didn’t look like they were kids or anything like that, so it’s definitely supporters of the other side,” LaNasa said. “I don’t mess with his stuff. I feel people should treat people the way you treat them. I would never do that to anyone. I think it is an underhanded thing, and it shows the way he conducts business or his friends conduct business.”
Mayor Saffo says he has heard this story.
“No one ever comes up with a name, no one ever comes up with a driver license, no one ever comes up with a perpetrator, so it’s unfortunate,” Saffo said. “I’ve had my signs damaged, but I would not make an accusation against anyone unless I knew who it was. Unless I have facts, unless I have proof, I don’t make those kind of accusations.”
LaNasa is eager to find out who damaged his sign. He is even offering a $1,000 reward from his own pocket for any information that can help lead to the vandal’s arrest.