ANDOVER (CBS) – A woman was arrested after she allegedly vandalized a resident’s Donald Trump campaign sign and nearly ran over the homeowner as she tried to speed away.
Andover Police said Susan Bryant of North Reading spray painted the Trump sign on Jenkins Road early Saturday morning.
One side of the sign was painted with “Putin’s (expletive),” a reference to Trump’s purported relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. On the other side, Bryant allegedly painted “Gold Star Fail!”
When homeowner Art Gonsalves confronted Bryant, she allegedly drove off erratically, forcing the victim to run out of the way of her car.
Police tracked down Bryant and charged her with four counts of defacing property and one count of assault by means of a dangerous weapon.
Bryant is suspected of vandalizing signs at the property several other times in previous months.
Gonsalves did not suffer any injuries, but said he was “absolutely terrified.” He said he’s caught her defacing his signs on several different occasions and recently installed a security camera.
All Gonsalves, a veteran, wants to do is express his First Amendment rights.
“We want her to put her sign up and me to put my sign up and let the people decide who gets in there,” he said.
Bryant is expected to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court on Tuesday.
“During this Presidential election season, opinions as to who the next President should be may differ. The ability to express those opinions openly and freely is the cornerstone of democracy in our country,” Andover Police Chief Patrick Keefe said.
“Our concern is when people take it upon themselves to wrongly extend their ability of expression into vandalism and assault. The victim in this case was only protecting his freedom of speech and expression. We ask for the community’s help in allowing all to express their opinions in safe, legal ways.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karyn Regal reports: