Man found guilty of destroying signs supporting Bush

February 18, 2005|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

A man caught using a bayonet to cut up two large Bush-Cheney signs in Ellicott City during a spate of political-sign vandalism last fall was convicted of property destruction yesterday by Howard County District Judge Neil Edward Axel. Two other charges were dismissed.

Peter Lizon, 31, was given a year's probation and 32 hours' community service, and ordered to pay $328.04 in restitution to the Howard County Republican Party. Axel said the 24 hours Lizon spent in jail after his arrest Oct. 1 was "significant punishment" and refused prosecutor Leigh Kessler's request for more jail time. He dismissed weapons and conspiracy charges.

Several incidents of sign destruction put the county on edge before the November election. In response, county police began watching several of the signs, including the ones near Rogers Avenue in front of a vacant supermarket.

Police watched as a minivan approached and stopped behind the signs about 4:45 p.m. Oct. 1, Detective Edward Upton testified. Lizon and his wife, Stephanie, got out, and Peter Lizon retrieved gloves and a bayonet and began cutting out the centers of the two 4-by-8-foot panels set in a "V" shape, police said.

Stephanie Lizon, 35, faces trial March 22 on property-destruction charges.

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