A Michigan township employee on Wednesday suffered a hand injury requiring 13 stitches after he tried to remove a Trump-Pence 2020 sign that had apparently been booby-trapped with razor blades, reports said.
The 52-year-old building inspector with Commerce Township had been instructed to remove the campaign sign because it violated a city ordinance about proximity to a roadway, according to a press release from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office obtained by The Detroit News.
When the inspector tried to remove the sign, three of his fingers were cut by the razor blades.
“He pulled over, reached down to grab it … He actually thought it was electrified. He jumped and let go of it, looked at his hand and realized he was bleeding aggressively,” said Commerce Township Supervisor Dave Scott, in remarks to ClickOnDetroit.
Scott said the worker drove himself to the hospital to get the cuts treated.
“Very angry. Very upset. Why would someone set a boobytrap sign to harm someone? A child could have picked it up,” Scott said, according to the report.
A township ordinance requires campaign signs to be 33 feet from the center of the roadway, while the signs being removed were 24 feet away.
“Several signs were taken from property that had several razor blades taped all the way along the bottom of the sign,” the sheriff’s office said in the statement, as cited by The Detroit News.
The homeowner denied having any knowledge of the razor blades, telling deputies that the signs disappeared recently but were later returned.
ClickOnDetroit reported that the homeowner said she has had several Trump campaign signs stolen.
Authorities have seized the signs and are investigating the incident.
“You can’t boobytrap signs with the intent to hurt someone,” Scott told Fox 2 Detroit. “I’ve seen signs tied to a tree, chained to fence post or a mail box — preventing them from being removed. This was simply laid out to hurt someone. And it did.”
It comes amid reports of campaign signs being stolen in the tense run-up to November’s presidential election, with some people going to unusual lengths to protect them.
A Massachusetts man put up an electrified fence around the Trump 2020 sign on his lawn after six of his signs were stolen, according to MassLive.
“It’s strictly about protecting my freedom of speech,” said John A. Oliveira, a 54-year-old Navy veteran, in remarks to MassLive.
He said since installing the fence, his signs were no longer getting stolen.
“Even if you get a security camera, that’s not going to do anything,” Oliveira said. “The electric fence, it sends a message.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.