TOLLAND, Conn. — A sign that featured a Pride flag put up by the Tolland Democrats was vandalized Sunday evening. The act garnered a strong reaction from town officials and residents.
"Things like this could make the divide even worse," said Tolland Town Manager Brian Foley.
The sign is located by the on and off-ramp of Exit 68 on Interstate 84 and it is now spray painted in red.
Originally, it was a Pride flag to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.
It was put up one year ago by the Tolland Democrats. Town officials now want to know if the act was politically driven towards the party or hate-driven towards the flag.
"It's exactly stuff like this that creates the unhealthy polarization that we see not just in Connecticut but around the country," added Foley.
The land where the sign stands is privately owned, but Tolland Democrats use it frequently to raise awareness for local and national issues.
It has not been a first for the town in seeing such vandalism.
"When there were signs in the past for the death of George Floyd, someone had taped a sign to the electrical boxes right over there," said Councilman Steve Jones.
The incident gained a large response on the Tolland Pride Community Facebook page.
A former Tolland resident wrote she witnessed the person vandalize the sign on Sunday and shared pictures of a man with a spray can in his hand and his motorcycle with a Connecticut license plate parked in the grass.
Since then, Tolland resident Ryan McCann has organized a group of people to come up with ways to bounce back from this.
"I think real soon we'll have just a quick message on it just to spread the message of love and have that up pretty quick and then we'll take a little time to gather some artists around and come up with some pretty paintings," said McCann.
Connecticut State Police Troop C is investigating the incident. Anyone who recognizes the person or the motorcycle is urged to contact Troop C in Tolland immediately.
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