Culprit who removed campaign sign comes forward

(Surveillance photo)

The culprit who removed a “Flanders for Senate” sign in East Greenwich has come forward, and he’s neither a political operative, nor a union member trying to send a message.

Edward Bacon is a teenage driver who told police he was leaving his girlfriend’s house, just trying to make a turn onto a busy road, and the sign blocked his view.

That’s the end of the investigation into a serial removal of the sign, on the corner of Signal Ridge Way and Division Road.

The campaign had gone to East Greenwich police to try and find out why the sign was removed two nights in a row last week, and finally put up a hidden camera to identify the perpetrators.

The story made it onto NBC 10 News Friday night, and one of the three men in the pictures saw himself on television. He went to the police station to explain, and said he and his friends were returning from a dinner out and decided to move the sign for safety reasons.

“We only touched the sign because it was blocking vision up the road,” Bacon told police, also identifying his friends as Nick Edwards and Tom Clougherty.

The police report notes that the young man is not politically involved. It also notes that the Flanders campaign feels no reason to press the matter any further.

“At this point, the sign is in a very safe area, and we will keep an eye on it to make sure that it remains safe,” Flanders' spokesman Richard Kirby told NBC 10. “We’re satisfied at this point.”

The two previous nights, police put the sign on the ground following complaints by drivers. They tried to reach the Flanders campaign, Col. Stephen Brown said, but the message never made it to the right people.

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