LAFAYETTE – A retired police officer who is now running for Tippecanoe County Sheriff says he doesn’t know why someone would have painted a giant red swastika on several of his large campaign signs.
“It’s kind of disturbing,” said candidate Barry Richard. “Sunday morning, I started getting phone calls from some of the citizens in Lafayette (who saw the signs).”
The weekend before, four of those same large signs were stolen.
“It’s just a shame that something like this would occur,” Richard said. “It’s quite troubling because you don’t understand or know why. Our community is a very safe community and one that has a lot of pride in being respectful.”
“Just because someone has access to a spray paint can generally doesn’t make them part of this community or what this community stands for,” said Richard’s opponent in the May primary, former sheriff Dave Heath, who said he has also had signs stolen during the campaign.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” said Heath. “The reason I didn’t even report mine stolen is I don’t even like to draw attention to it. I think it could make it even worse.”
“I’m disappointed,” said Richard. “It’s something that none of us want to have in our community.”
Lafayette Police said that anyone with information about the crime should contact their office to report a tip.
“Any kind of vandalism we’re interested in finding out who did it, so our officers are keeping our eyes and ears open,” said Lt. Jim Taul.