Man arrested after allegedly torching Trump sign

Sign's owner: 'This behavior's not acceptable on either side'
Man arrested after allegedly torching Trump sign

When Kevin Leighty went outside to get the newspaper Friday morning, there was something different about his front lawn.

“My husband came out to get the paper and noticed our sign was completely gone,” his wife, Jane Leighty, said.

The sign that was gone — burned to its frame — had been one showing support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Platteville police began investigating the incident, and came up with a suspect: the couple’s tenant, who police say admitted to burning the sign.

The couple shared surveillance video with News 3 that they say shows the college-aged man lighting the sign on fire while wearing nothing but his underwear.

Leighty said the man tried to light the sign using a lighter, but when that didn’t work he used a torch.

Despite the fact that the video’s time stamp shows the sign on fire at 12:50 a.m., the Leightys didn’t know about the incident until the morning.

“Car after car goes by with the sign blazing and there are people walking on the sidewalk that we can see. Two of them actually stopped, came over and sort of fist-bumped him, and nobody thought to call the cops when a guy’s out here barefoot and burning a sign,” Leighty said.

Charges against the man have been referred to the Grant County District Attorney’s Office, Platteville police Lt. Mike Haas said. Police did not release the man’s name as of Friday evening. 

Leighty said the man did show some regret for the incident.

“He actually came over this morning and apologized, because the police caught him and he had a torch by his bed and so he confessed to it, and he came and apologized, head down, and was pretty sorry that he did it,” she said. “He said he didn’t really remember a lot of it, that he had been doing a little imbibing.”

But the couple still plans to press charges.

“This behavior’s not acceptable on either side,” Leighty said.