Investigators in Castle Rock are trying to find a woman who vandalized a Trump/Pence reelection sign, an act that was recorded on video and posted on social media.
The incident happened at about 6:35 p.m. Monday in a commercial area near South Perry Street and East Miller Court, said Sara Miller, a Castle Rock woman who recorded the video.
Miller, who describes herself as “leaning conservative…and an issues voter,” said she was driving by the land parcel where the sign was posted and saw a woman tearing down the large blue sign with white lettering.
Still in her car, Miller stopped and called out, trying to stop the woman from destroying the sign, she said.
Miller recalled: “This is none of your business little girl,” the woman responded.
That’s when Miller began recording the incident on her cellphone camera, she said.
“I can’t condone any vandalism,” Miller said. “It was someone damaging someone else’s property.”
Miller said she didn’t feel threatened by the woman, who left the area and went into a nearby pet grooming business.
Kurt Huffman, a lifelong Republican, owns the sign and erected it with the property owner’s permission.
Huffman said he’s been posting political candidate signs in Douglas County for years, including for some pretty heated school board races.
“I’ve never seen this level of anger or violence,” Huffman said of the Monday incident.
The 4-foot by 8-foot sign made of plastic was attached to particle board with screws and mounted on wooden posts. Huffman valued the sign at about $500.
The woman in the video, using her bare hands, was able to tear the plastic sign away from the particle board backing. “I didn’t know you could actually do that with one of these signs — shred it,” Huffman said.
Huffman, who typically organizes putting up about 150 signs in a presidential election season, said he’s had four people decline sign postings this year.
Dan Berkenkotter, a local businessman, owns the parcel where the sign was posted. He plans to build on it in the future. He receives multiple requests about posting signs on the property.
“I let anyone put their signs out there,” Berkenkotter said. “I don’t mind what (political) party they are.”
A fund for information leading to the identity of the woman in the video was up to $1,400 on Friday morning, Berkenkotter said.
“It’s not a witch hunt looking for her, it’s more trying to find her because what she did was wrong,” Berkenkotter said. “It’s not all right to do this, this type of behavior.”
Castle Rock police are investigating the incident.
“We have received multiple calls and reports about this,” said Taylor Temby, a police spokeswoman.
As of Friday morning police had not identified the woman, Temby said.
Temby did not comment specifically on the Monday incident or the video clip, but police released a statement including a municipal ordinance.
“Any person who damages, mars, destroys, paints, smears or defaces public or private property or who participates with others in marring, damaging, destroying, painting, smearing or defacing of public or private property within the Town without express permission of the owner or governing body having charge of the property may, upon conviction, be punished as provided in the general penalty of this Code,” according to municipal code.
Vandalism, a criminal mischief charge, is a class 3 misdemeanor if the damage is less than $300.
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