Vandal defaces candidate signs in Collier County, includes racial slurs

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: via WINK News.

An unknown suspect recently spray-painted campaign signs in Collier County. The vandal targeted several local candidates, and one of them caught the suspect in the act.

“This is not what goes on in Naples,” said Jim Molenaar, who is running for Collier County clerk. “It’s disgusting, and it is shameful.”

At least one of the campaign signs had a racial slur written on it.

“This individual chose to target black conservatives, and I think that’s a problem in and of itself,” said candidate Drew-Montez Clark.

Clark is one of the Republican candidates whose signs are damaged from graffiti.

An image shows a suspected vandal hopping into his getaway car Saturday night in the parking lot of Seed To Table Market.

“He started writing expletives on the sign and blacking out faces,” Clark said.

Republican candidate Byron Donalds also had signs vandalized this way.

“My face was spray-painted over, where I guess it was horns coming out of my head,” Donalds said.

Molenaar is the one who captured the suspect in action.

”I looked at the photos and I can see he has a leg brace, a knee brace, appears to be a Caucasian male,” Molenaar said.

He was on his way out from dinner when he confronted the vandal in the parking lot.

”He yelled at me three times, ‘Do you want to die?’” Molenaar said. “And then he used a pejorative term for an African American.”

Molenaar said someone vandalized his campaign signs previously, but this time, the candidate refuses to let whoever is behind it get away.

“We have great people who live here and so I just want justice done,” Donalds said.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300.

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