Not Funny At All

At first glance, the early morning scene near Old Mill Beach looked funny — a Halloween prank several months early:

Toilet paper in a tree. No biggie. A bit of cleanup required.

Kids will be kids. Ha ha!

But then neighbors read this note, posted to a tree:

Suddenly, things were not so funny.

In fact, they turned deadly serious.

Because here is one of the stickers, on the homeowner’s car:

(Photos/Katherine Bruan)

94 responses to “Not Funny At All

  1. Holly Wheeler

    This makes me sick.

  2. Just curious… were notes relating to the bumper stickers or anything else stated… and what other things were destroyed…

  3. Nancy Hunter

    So terribly sorry to hear this. Shocking.

  4. William Strittmatter

    Shocking this time of year though vandalism at any time or for any reason is a crime and not a joke. I hope the police are able to catch the perpetrators so they can be appropriately punished (not to mention determining the motivation).

    It may be helpful to have Dan post the pictures from your security cameras so maybe readers of the blog can help identify them.

  5. Please don’t misconstrue this comment as anything other than what it says
    But do you really believe a nutjob is going to TP someones house as vandalism against Black Lives Matter? I’d expect broken car windows or something much more heinous and senseless. Just don’t want to see something that MIGHT be more simple & harmless get turned into something much more given the already contentious environment that exists. Again, no disrespect to the homeowners or condoning the act. But based on the info provided, seems a stretch that this isn’t a childish prank – why does the homeowner think this is something more? The bumper sticker can’t be THE reason, is it?

    • Without knowing the details, I don’t think there’s been any tp-ing of trees in Westport on any property, in years.

      • What I find especially distressing is a US President who establishes an equality of culpability between groups who chant “Black Lives Matter” and Nazis Charlottesville marchers, bearing torches, while proclaiming “Jews will not replace us.” Given the climate he established amongst his followers it’s no surprise that even in Westport an event like this one with the t.p might occur.
        ADW Staples 1956

    • Very astute observation Vin. By homeowners own statement he/or she ASSUMES it has something to do with bumper sticker on the car. No one knows that.
      Wonder what the OTHER bumper stickers say? He/she alludes to fact the BLM sticker was only one amongst more.

  6. Michael Calise

    This entire story appears to be an unfortunate stretch

    • Nancy Hunter

      But Dan is careful about his posts, careful about sources. If you’re right (or wrong) then this does speak volumes about the current political climate.
      So, I’ll turn my attention to Barcelona now.

    • Mike…I agree…inflamatory without FACTS connecting the tp with the sticker.

  7. Mary Ruggiero

    My house received the benefit of lawn signs that were in direct opposition to mine during the campaign. On several occasions there were anti-Trump signs of a very nasty nature placed on the strip outside my fence and my signs were taken down, but not damaged or removed. I guess I was just fortunate my “opponents” were more aware of the laws re respecting others’ property.

  8. Seth Goltzer

    Your support for a designated domestic terrorist group does elicit some strong emotions. Whatever you do, don’t call the Police…..

  9. Seriously??? Hate has no place anywhere but how do you make this connection?

  10. Rhonda Williams

    I have to agree with Vin and Michael on this simply being an unfortunate, childish prank. As I have seen a few incidents of toilet paper in trees here in Westport over the past few years. One of those times was on my street.

  11. Elaine Marino

    I hope that no one takes it as fact that this house was toilet-papered because of the owners’ support for Black Lives Matter. In November, a man in Indiana was exposed as the culprit who wrote Nazi and homophobic slurs on the walls of the church where he worked. The vandalism was initially blamed on the KKK or some other hate group:

    “Investigators say Stang admitted to painting the ‘Heil Trump’ and ‘Fag Church’ graffiti himself because he wanted to ‘mobilize a movement after being disappointed in and fearful of the outcome of the national election.”’

  12. Roberta Tager

    OUCH! !!!!!

    Sent from my iPhone Bobbi


  13. Tom Kashetta

    It’s Just a bunch of young kids messing around. Don’t turn this into anything that it isn’t !!!!!!

  14. Jeff Giannone

    Connecting the toilet paper to a bumper sticker without any other information is an alarming and presumptuous conclusion. This is exactly the kind of paranoid assumptions that feed into a culture of fear.

  15. William Strittmatter

    Dan – Maybe you can ask the homeowners for stills from the security footage. The cameras I use have date and time stamps which, if they use similar ones, might help jog the memory of those who might have been in the area at the time to help ID the perpetrators and/or “getaway” vehicles. The more people that see the pictures, the faster they can be identified and maybe get to the bottom of this.

  16. Dan – here is a statement from Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe:

    “I have spoken with the homeowner and gave my assurance that the Westport Police are taking this vandalism seriously.

    Chief Koskinas and his team will continue to investigate, and if the incident is suspected to be hate related, other appropriate agencies will be brought in.”

  17. Please don’t jump to conclusions here..I agree with some of the above, this whole story seems a stretch.

    • There is a way to get to the bottom of this : Everyone in town should put a Black Lives Matter Bumper sticker on his or her car and park it at the end of the driveway. I would do it if I still lived in Westport; it would be placed next to my current sticker : Make America Great Again : Impeach Trump.
      If there are hundreds of such stickers on display in Westport a pattern will emerge if there is indeed hate behind this current act of vandalism. The Amazon website sells these stickers and there are numerous other vendors if you ‘d prefer them.
      ADW Staples 1956

      • Just can’t help yourself can you?

        BJK Staples 1955….no doubt I bullied the hell out of you then though I do not recall you or your name. Then, as now, we could not possibly be more disparate.

        • Elizabeth Thibault

          Are you really bragging that you bullied children in high school?

          • Are you really that humorless?

            • Elizabeth Thibault

              I’ve learned to believe people when they tell you who they are. Also, ducking behind the guise of “it was just a joke,” is the domain of those who know they should know better when they are called out on their bad behavior. I’ve got great humor, but bullying isn’t something to be joked about. You’re old enough, you should know better.

          • Polly Temple

            Thank you Elizabeth!!!!!

    • Jonas Shapiro

      Not that I am particularly proud of this, but back in late 80’s we were tp’ing trees like Mr. Charmin until finally Dave Eason or another member of the force would catch us and put the fear of g-d into us so we never did it again. I don’t know the details and if this house was indeed targeted in anyway because of a bumper sticker (regardless of what it says) than that is obviously wrong and reason for concern. The times they are a changin…

  18. Polly Temple

    Some of these posts are shocking. Just goes to show how far down the rabbit hole we’ve gone since the election. It makes me sad for our country and our town.

    • WHAT is so shocking Polly? People placing blame and leaping to conclusions that are completely unproven thus far, OR, folks calling them on it?
      I know how I’m betting but would love to hear it from you.

      • Russell Gontar

        You know who’s really good about leaping to unproven conclusions and refusing to admit he has no evidence and just made the whole thing up?

        • Polly Temple

          My point exactly! Both sides leap and we don’t know the truth. But people just can’t help themselves. You are assuming and you know what that means. Both sides.

  19. Nicole Klein

    Prank. No prank. Coincidence. No coincidence. It is not funny. Something happened to one of our neigbors in our community and I want them to know I do not think its funny and I hope they find out who the perpetrator(s) are who did this. I applaud the homeowners for sharing and Dan for posting. #supportivecommunitiesrock!

  20. I think I’ve seen this scene before. Yes right here…

  21. Jeff Arciola

    Typical liberal Danny boy. Stop your finger pointing without facts.

    • What does being liberal have to do with this? Have a little more respect for Dan or don’t read the blog.

    • Polly Temple

      Danny Boy? Is that respectful? He just posts the information. Seems sort of condescending to me. We can do better than that. Have some respect.

  22. Why wasn’t the bumper sticker vandalized, if that was the issue? I would have expected someone to replace “black” with “all” — as in, “all lives matter”, which is the typical retort from people who oppose the black lives matter movement.

    Was there any additional “vandalism” beyond just toilet paper in a tree? Seriously? Toilet paper is “vandalism”?

    On Halloween when kids throw eggs at houses, is that too going to be construed as racially-motivated?

    This post is rather inflammatory and spreads unsubstantiated fear — once this is resolved (or at a minimum, once more information is available) I would hope a follow-up is posted on this blog.

    For now, I am making NO assumptions until we get the facts.

  23. Joshua Stein

    yawn. where is the video. should be very easy to upload it to youtube. sounds like the home owner is jumping to a conclusion and seeking attention…

  24. Jack Whittle

    I’m struggling to connect the TPing of the tree outside their with the lone BLM bumper sticker on the back of their car . . . Seems like an odd bit of “vandalism” and perhaps one of many possible “reasons” (and there may have been no reason for the TPing being directed at that particular tree or house)

    • Seems even TPing these days needs to be tied to some nefarious…conspiratorial “off the wall blame” without any evidence or facts.

  25. Nancy Hunter

    How about leaving the tp’d tree as it is, and grow a un-tp’d tree beside??

  26. Any volunteers to have your home toilet papered or egged for no reason at all tomorrow night? I did many years ago. Dried egg yolk is tough to get off a house and a car! Not funny!!

    Hmmm – from all the responses I have a wquestion- if you have a Trump sign on your house or car and it got vandalized might you think it was related to some lefty radical kid?

    If you were flying a nazi flag or had a neonazis bumper sticker – might you think some alt left did it?

    Dan just pointed out that something none of us wants to happen – last night or on Halloween- happened. And the only thing that might have triggered it was a bumper sticker.

    I hope the vandal can read, reads 06880danWoog and Is worried he is going to get caught, will have to clean the tree and answer for their actions.

    So let’s now wait and see what the facts are. Not throw aspersions at Dan. Belittle a home owner and neighbors concerns and Let’s hope it is just a dumb kid pulling a very dumb vandalism- and not something more that happening in our town.

    • Jack Whittle

      If I had a Trump sign or bumper sticker on my parked car IN THIS TOWN and all that happened was some kind of 12 year old prank like TP-ing a tree outside my house, I would be grateful and frankly wouldn’t even connect the two. I certainly wouldnt call the poluce, and post a sign drawing a very strained conclusion

      • I disagree totally! I would call the police. I want them in the neighborhood looking for the vandals. I don’t want 12 year olds or 23 year olds thinking there are no consequences for actions that harm or frighten others. Where do you draw the line to call the police? Broken windows, smashed windshield? Egged house.

    • Nancy Hunter

      Actually, your suggestions would make an interesting experiment.
      Fly those flags, attach those bumper stickers, and–most of all– make sure your security cameras are up and working!
      P.S. Leave a copy of “Dick and Jane” to steal.

    • Lauren Stevens

      I don’t understand your comment that says the “only thing that might have triggered it is a bumper sticker”. No disrespect but that is a huge stretch, it could have been triggered by the fact they have a good tree for TPing and the culprit lives nearby! We have no idea and I think the fact that people have assumed that a bumper sticker is and must be the trigger just speaks to our current climate. That is sad either way- someone did this because of the owners support for BML or some person TPd a house and the owners are certain that is was because they support BML…

    • Polly Temple

      Thank you for your post

  27. Bill Boyd (Staples 1966)

    I don’t blame Dan for posting this….the homeowner believed his house was “attacked.” Maybe….
    But IF the tp was a message about anything, it doesn’t sound too serious…. Let’s not all overeact to some tp in a tree.

  28. Bill Boyd (Staples 1966)

    At the end of rhe say its tp in a tree….

  29. Kendall Gardiner

    I’m so sorry this happened to you.
    Sending support. <3

  30. A few friends who are Black Lives Matter ACTIVISTS looked at this, and were as surprised as many who read this blog that the leap from TP’d tree to BLM sticker would be made, & then even if there was a connection that it would get so much concerned attention.

    Dan, are you still comfortable with me/others sharing this with wider group involved in Thai issue, Or do you think it’s better to wait until Westport PD finish their Investogation? Susan Farley

    • I am interested in your email address “victims-survivors of the Canadian scoops”.

      • My name is provided, (Dan gets my email, nobody else)

        • Nancy, thank you for your eternal and instant vigilance on all things comment-related.Some people comment using WordPress accounts that do not have their real names. They are automatically posted using their sign-in names. I have access to their real names. Because I want people to be able to post in real time, I have to go through later and manually fix them (or delete those that are “fake”). It’s very time-consuming, and because I have several other actual, “real” jobs — and sometimes leave “06880” central headquarters (aka my home office) — I can’t always do it 30 seconds after something is posted. I hope that helps clarify things for you.

          • I wish you wouldn’t always assume I have some sort of evil intention.
            I truly am curious about the meaning behind the organization, if it has to do with an ugly chapter from 1960’s Canadian history … but not sure.
            Never mind, then.

    • I can connect you with the family privately, if you’d like. Please let me know.

  31. Joshua Stein

    Day two: no video.

  32. Don L. Bergmann

    As a neighbor, I would just add that the owners of the home and driveway in which the car is parked are lovely, engaging and thoughtful. However, even it they were not, the incident can reasonably cause us to consider if it had anything to do with President Trump’s reprehensible and distorted analysis of the movement of Neo-Nazis and the White Nationalists in support of statues and symbols that primarily honor the Civil War. This is not the incident or column to condemn those groups, but they should be condemned, without any effort to search for moral equivalencies.
    Don Bergmann

    • Associating all of this with BLM, from a TP’d tree (in a town where I know I remember it was done a lot and got a good laugh by kids and adults alike the next morning) to toppling of statues by white people in other states, seems like a stretch, a dangerous stretch, & like the start of a Twilight Zone episode. This is example of how politicized media (not Dan’s blog btway) has dangerously contorted reality. (Susan Farley)

      • Hi- just my opinion for the third time- when something totally in expected happens to your home or property- unrelated to Halloween- you look around and ask why me? A BLM bumper sticker could be it, the same way Trump stickers, old Obama stickers, Dixie flags, shwastikas or make love not war!

        I would have drawn the same conclusion- turned my surveillance tape over to the police and thanked Dan for calling attention to this problem.

        On a less serious note- anyone who would like their yard toilet papered could post their name on Dan’s blog- I am sure the vandal who did this would love to do your yard!

    • So this is not the place to condemn those groups, but then you go ahead and condemn them right here.

      • Hi Mike- I think it is safe to condemn neo nazis and white nationalists- all the GOP leadership and DJT are doing so as we speak. But this thread is about a prank/ vandalism that may or may not be related to a BLM bumper sticker- I hope it was kids with too much time and toilet paper on their hands. Time will tell.

  33. Jonathan Berg

    Amazing how many people here are so smart that they are able to be 100% positive that the cause isn’t as claimed, despite no actual evidence either way.

    • I guess WE are still a little gun shy over:
      Tawana Brawley
      U of Virginia rape case
      Duke Lacrosse rape case
      Michael Brown
      Trayvon Martin
      “Pants up, don’t loot.”

      • Jonathan Berg

        Of course – and I share your skepticism here pending better information – but the uninformed assurance is absurd (not sure what Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin have to do with anything here but this isn’t the place to get into that)

        • Jonathan Berg

          Putting it another way, you & various others here criticize for jumping to conclusions while jumping to the other conclusion. You’re both just assuming the facts you prefer. There’s no difference.

          • Jonathan, I/We are assuming nothing and jumping to NO conclusions. That is precisely the point I (and others) are laboring to make. Let’s get the FACTS, not the speculation.

            As you may recall the original post suggested strongly that this was some sort of racist KKK oriented act. Hence the subsequent airing of varying points of view.

            Do you think I smell “set up” here? You bet i do! BUT, i do not, and cannot, deem it to be the case until some FACTS are presented.

            Thus far we have none. So no one, including me, can claim to point a finger of blame anywhere.

            Curious though as to what the OTHER bumper stickers on car were.

            This is getting a little long winded for me, so let me close with a smile, as well as a compliment you as to the manner in which you present your views.
            Staples 55

            • Jonathan Berg

              by the way, I don’t think I was addressing you personally in the first place. If you scan above there are several people asserting with total confidence that it was just kids screwing around or whatnot. Was just pointing out how ridiculous that is, that’s all. So I guess you & I more or less agree here (unusually!).

      • Polly Temple

        You should just quit with your responses now!

        • Why? The Truth stings a bit doesn’t it ?
          Everything is fine in the fantasy world you people live in just so long as everyone agrees with you. Right?

          • Polly Temple

            Bruce I feel really sorry for you bud. But hey I can take it. You just can’t help yourself. So keep bullying me. I really don’t give a you know what. I think you are extremely funny. So I’m enjoying it. What other ugly stuff do you have huh?

  34. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    Someone, somewhere, perhaps even in our midst, is going without toilet paper due to this atrocity. Have any of you given that a thought?

  35. This is shaping up to be an example of how BLM AND Trump supporters are BOTH unjustifiably and sometimes dangerously given a bad rap, i.e. The people here that are making untrue comments about POTUS as if they are BLM representatives aren’t actually reps of BLM, “a bumper sticker doesn’t make you rep of BLM and, I’m also told, “thinking that having your tree TP’d is of the gravity of racism BLM is concerned with really disqualifies you”

    Then Trump Supporters react to these allegations as if they’re coming from BLM when they’re not, leads Trump Supporters to look like hostile idiots.

    Bad cycle starting with misinformation that through Dans generosity here maybe will start to break up, I hope, A lot of us hope.

  36. A quick history lesson on “White Nationalism” – from a 15 year old black kid.

  37. It seems to me that someone was just putting the toilet paper back where it came from….a tree.

  38. A real hornet’s nest has been kicked over with regards to this situation. The shock that many feel that a crime of this magnitude could occur within the sanctity of our town, contrasts with a belief that this issue lacks sufficient information at present to directly link the license plate message to the TP of the tree. Many of the 91 responses fall into a wait and see position, while others state that this instance is greatly overblown. Of course some relate the TP vandalism to the charged political currents which are unfortunately present in our great nation. Bringing the miscreants to justice by the police is a theme in some posts, while many could care less and consider this to be a childish prank. I’m of the opinion that this event was uncalled for and not to be condoned, but unless a darker side becomes evident, it is not a call to arms, but to one of concerned reason. If this is the worst that happens in the workings of an average town, we might consider ourselves fortunate.