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Tires slashed on 30 GOP vehicles in Milwaukee


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Tires slashed on 30 GOP vehicles, Milwaukee police report



Posted: Nov. 2, 2004

The tires of at least 30 cars and vans rented by the Republican Party to carry voters to the polls were slashed, Milwaukee police said this morning. The discovery was made at 6:30 a.m., said Sgt. Mark Wroblewski.

The rental cars were parked near a GOP office in the 7100 block of W. Capitol Dr. Wroblewski said "at least" 30 cars were disabled. At least one tire was slashed and in some cases, all four tires were cut. Detectives were on the scene, the sergeant said. Police had no suspects in custody as of 8 a.m.

Milwaukee police said just after noon today that they have a suspect description. A private security guard reported a man running from where the tires were slashed, said Sgt. Ken Harris.

The guard reported seeing a white male, 18 to 25 years old, 5-feet-6 to 5-feet-9 tall, 170 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans, running from the Republican offices around 6:45 a.m., Harris said.

Milwaukee police detectives typically would not investigate a case of slashed tires but were put on the case given the potential political overtones of this crime, Harris said.

"Because there is a chance it might have been politically motivated, we are making every effort to bring this case to a swift conclusion," Harris said.

Also early election day, Milwaukee police were called to a John Kerry campaign office, 633 S. Hawley Road, at 5:40 a.m. because at least two people were blocking the parking lot exit, preventing Kerry supporters from leaving the parking lot and screaming and spitting on cars, said Sgt. Willie Murphy. The officers removed the disruptive people but no arrests were made, he said.

Republican party spokesman Chris Lato said the slashed tires on the GOP's get-out-the-vote vehicles this morning "clearly was targeted sabotage" to hinder the party's election-day work. He said Republican volunteers have stepped into the breach by offering their vehicles for party use, but he doesn't know whether all the damaged rental vehicles have been repaired.

"It's clear that we were targeted, there's no question about it," Lato said. "Does it slow us down? Yeah, it's not going to help."...


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