Monday, December 22, 2014

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Paladino Campaign Office Vandalized with Custard

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Vandalism during election season is nothing new. For years, politicians and their volunteers have complained about billboards and lawn signs being defaced or stolen. This campaign season tensions seem a little higher than usual, and the anger felt by some voters and political activists may have finally boiled over in Brighton.

Anger and frustration are emotions Carl Paladino has used to inspire his supporters, but the Republican candidate for governor has also inspired anger in those who oppose his political views.

"I don't know what to make of it," said John DiMarco, plaza owner. "His use of anger is at the system."

"I've never actually seen or witnessed violence, but they are close to it," said DiMarco.

John DiMarco owns the Tops Plaza in Brighton.

"I rented this spot to these people. They're like any other tenant," he said.

He has received complaints from shoppers and witnessed campaign volunteers being verbally attacked and intimidated. He said what happened Wednesday morning...crossed the line.

"It's just nonsense. It should not happen," said DiMarco. "They were defacing my assets that I spent a lifetime building up."

Brighton police are looking for whoever used a bucket of custard pudding to write a pointed message on the window.

"It just said homophobe and racist in the custard," DiMarco explained.

The incident happened sometime between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Captain Robert Cline says the incident followed a series of threatening phone calls made to the campaign office Tuesday night.

Cline:"I can't confirm whether there was any specific threat of that nature to him."

Casey Bortnick, reporter: "Just threatening in general."

Cline: "Threatening in general."

Cline said using custard instead of spray paint or soap is what makes the incident so unusual. Police hope that will help them zero in on a suspect.

"So, we're not sure how accessible this might be. If it's a commercial type bucket of pudding that someone would get their hands on, we're not sure. It's a little unusual because it's not something that you can buy in the supermarket," said Cline.

John DiMarco said he will do everything he can to help police find those responsible.

"I don't want anyone to go to jail, but think people should be made to learn that you're responsible for your actions," said DiMarco.

It's a message he hopes people will keep in mind as November 2 draws to a close.

"It's just an election, geez." said DiMarco.

Police said security camera did not capture anything that would lead police to a suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call 911.
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