Couple charged with destroying signs

Randallstown pair arrested after stake-out, police say

October 06, 2004|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Howard County's spate of political sign destruction led to the arrest late Friday of a Randallstown couple accused of using a bayonet to cut the centers out of two Bush/Cheney campaign signs on U.S. 40 near Ridge Road in Ellicott City, according to court files and county police.

Peter Lizon, 30, and his wife, Stephanie Louise Lizon, 34, of the first block of Valdivia Court, were each charged with destruction of private property. Peter Lizon faces weapons charges. He is free on $3,500 bail and Stephanie Lizon on $3,000 bail.

Howard County Detective Edward Upton, working under cover, staked-out the sign and saw a couple drive into the empty parking lot in front of a vacant grocery store building facing U.S. 40 at 4:45 p.m., court documents said.

He saw a man get out of the car and use a bayonet to cut the middles out of two signs -- about 30 inches by 40 inches each, the court documents said. The woman acted as a lookout.

When the pair returned to their car, Upton arrested them and retrieved a bayonet from their car, police said.

Their arrests followed that of Cory Robert Cooke, 33, of Ellicott City, last month.

Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said that after reports of numerous Republican signs being damaged or removed in Ellicott City, officers working under cover set up a surveillance in which Cooke was arrested.

Democrats have complained that Kerry-Edwards campaign signs along Centennial Lane have been damaged or removed. Anthony McGuffin, a Democratic activist who lives in Ellicott City, called police last week after someone fired a shot into his house, which has Democratic campaign signs out front.

After Cooke's arrest, another Bush-Cheney sign was destroyed, prompting the new undercover operation, police said.

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