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Ledyard man issued ticket after 'Hate has no home here' signs run over, stolen

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Ledyard — A Ledyard man has been issued a ticket in connection with the vandalism of lawn signs with the message “Hate has no home here” this week in Ledyard.

Christian Carrington, 50, of Center Groton Road was issued an infraction summons about 5 p.m. Wednesday on charges of creating a public disturbance and failure to drive on the right, according to Ledyard police Chief John Rich.

Police believe Carrington was involved in a string of vandalism acts that happened this week on Route 117, in which lawn signs were repeatedly run over Monday and Tuesday and then stolen on Thursday. Video footage captured by a Ledyard resident Tuesday showed a silver hatchback vehicle that appeared to have New York license plates veering off the road to run over the signs. Police were able to identify the vehicle as belonging to Carrington, who had been pulled over this week for a minor traffic violation, according to Rich.

The red, white and blue lawn signs were posted by resident Jennifer Holdsworth, whose Spruce Street property borders the route. She purchased the signs with a group of Ledyard residents in response to another recent act of vandalism, in which a swastika was spray-painted over a homemade political sign on Gallup Hill Road.

The lawn signs were purchased from the Hate Has No Home Here Project and have the project’s message written on them in large white letters in English. The message is repeated below in a few other languages, including Hebrew and Spanish.

On Monday, Holdsworth said she posted two signs and within hours found them knocked over and bent. She posted more signs Tuesday, only to find them vandalized again.

Two of her neighbors, who did not want to be identified, decided to put their trail camera up in a nearby tree for a few hours Tuesday. They captured video footage of the same vehicle driving back and forth, purposely running over the signs at least six times throughout the day. In a few instances, the vehicle can be seen running over the signs and driving off, only to return less than 10 minutes later and run over them again.

The vandalism and theft were reported to police, who were given a copy of the video footage. It was not clear if Carrington was believed to have stolen the signs in addition to running over them.

On Friday, Ledyard Mayor Fred Allyn III issued a statement on Facebook, condemning the destruction of the signs.

"Understanding that we all don't share all the same opinions, it would be really great if people chose to share their opinions in a more constructive (less destructive) manner..." the mayor said.

Ledyard police still were investigating the swastika vandalism earlier this month but had not identified any suspects.

t.hartz@theday.com

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