TEMECULA – Witnesses told police they saw a man destroying election campaign signs on Tuesday, which landed the 67-year-old in jail, reports said.
Leland Barrett Mark was reportedly seen, said police, tearing down campaign signs for local city council candidates, and also a presidential candidate and his running mate.
One of the Temecula city council candidates, along with her husband, not only saw the suspect, but police said they took photographs of the incident.
A Riverside County Sheriff’s Department release said the vandalism was reported shortly before 9 a.m. The release stated that taking or damaging political campaign signs is a violation of the law. The signs were visible along Jedediah Smith Rd. near Temecula Parkway, a main thoroughfare.
Mark, who was apparently riding a bicycle during the reported crime, was eventually booked into Southwest Detention Center in nearby French Valley at a bail of $2,500 for the violation, which is considered a misdemeanor. He was arrested at a nearby senior citizen’s center, located on Sixth Street. The charges Mark faces not only include misdemeanor vandalism, but also challenging someone to fight in public. Police did not disclose who Mark challenged to a fight, though some media reports that it was the spouse of a city council candidate.
According to one police report, Mark said he tore down the signs because he tripped over them while a pedestrian. It is estimated that campaign signs are worth between $10 and $35.
North County Times: Temecula: Political signs ripped up, suspect arrested
Valley News: Man Suspected of Tearing Down, Damaging Political Signs
Press-Enterprise: Man, 67, jailed over damaged political signs