Homeowner ‘violated’ by defacing, theft of Trump campaign signs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Yard signs supporting President Donald Trump were vandalized Monday night along Beauclerc Road, off San Jose Boulevard. Residents told News4Jax other Trump-Pence signs were stolen from front yards recently.

Hines' sign and others were painted with a swastika. Other Trump signs were painted black.

“It makes me feel violated,” homeowner David Hines said. “I put signs out about two nights ago at 6 p.m. They were gone by 10:30 when I came home. I put other ones next to my house to keep them safe, except for this one and they marked it up last night. It’s just a travesty, it’s a travesty, it’s a freedom of speech issue I’m sure. Yeah, I’m upset.”

Hines said he doesn’t know who could have done this.

“I put a Facebook post out last night warning people near Beauclerc and Scott Mill that I’d be out here watching and it might be dangerous to do something like that,” he said. “I don’t know if that had anything to do with it because nobody knows my name; I’m new in town. But they hit everybody, not just me. You know we all got to get along. We all should be able to speak our voices, but you can’t.”

Hines called the police, who told him they were investigating. Another resident told News4Jax his signs have been stolen or defaced three times, but he has not reported it.

Theft or vandalism of campaign signs is against the law and should be reported to law enforcement.

Signs place on the city or state’s right-of-way can and sometimes are removed. Last month, the Florida Department of Transportation issued a news release as a reminder that state prohibits political signs on state right of way. Section 479.11(8) of the Florida Statutes says that no signs “shall be erected, used, operated, or maintained” on the right of way of any state highway.

“Improperly located signs on state right of way pose a traffic safety hazard that can distract motorists or block their view, endanger the safety of individuals who are erecting signs along busy highways and present obstacles to crews who maintain roadways,” the FDOT release said.

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