Amherst candidate booby-traps campaign sign.

How evil is this? Amherst County BoS candidate Tim Beverly sticks his campaign signs up on some guy’s private property, claiming, bizarrely, that he has the right to put signs in front of anybody’s house. The property owner takes the signs down. Beverly goes back and puts them up again. Guy goes to pull up the sign again, only to find that razor blades have been affixed to the bottom of the sign, badly lacerating the guy’s hands, requiring hours of surgery in the ER to repair. Beverly, when asked about this by a reporter, says that he’s “not going to let this deter [him] from running.” What a bastard.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

26 replies on “Amherst candidate booby-traps campaign sign.”

  1. Beverly had an opportunity to chastise whomever was putting up the signs and play dumb – but by claiming he took measurements and thought the sign was on VDOT property he ends up admitting he is involved in an attempt to break the law (no signs in VDOT right of ways) and he knows who put the sign up (assuming he didn’t do it himself) on someone’s private property (tampering with private property).

    While that does not prove he planted the blades or was aware, it is enough to investigate and fingerprint both him and the blades to check for a match, and assuming no match or print – to detain him in custody for a few hours trying to get information out of him about who they should be printing.

    Perhaps C. Vitter ( is ahead of the pack. We have many incidents like this one and people will be up in arms to stop the risk.

    It is permanent evil, someone planting blades in the bottom of a sign clearly has no intention of picking that sign up. Leaving it to the DOT workers or the property owners to deal with later is just wrong on so many levels. Surely this violates some law; it certainly shows no respect.

    How does someone in Amherst vote for a guy in handcuffs?

  2. So that’s why nobody ever found razor blades in Halloween candy. They were already stuck in yard signs!

  3. Waldo, Beverly appears to an independent according to a googling. (OK I don’t think googling is real work but I like it.) Beverly needs to be sternly googled!

  4. Since we don’t know who would have possibly handled that sign in it’s dangerous form, I think reckless endangerment should be one of the counts.

    And to think I used chicken wire last year to try and protect the signs I was responsible for, when I could have used a howitzer.

    Ant with a sledgehammer and all that.

  5. I would also be satisfied if the VDOT was as interested in taking down signs of realtors, construction companies, beauty salons, etc. as they are taking down political signs. (Or whomever is interested; I don’t see VDOT taking down any signs in this area as far as I know.)

    Signs in the ROW are prohibited in all months of the year, not just July-October.

    And, by the way, a local Democratic candidate is also putting signs up in the yards of people she hasn’t asked. This is embarrassing and counter-productive.

  6. I’ve always thought that taping a dixie cup of the cheapest french-whorehouse perfume inside the sign so that it will spill when tipped on its side (like when someone puts it in their trunk) was a funny, but non-violent way messing with sign stealers.

    Signs should not be placed in the right of way or stolen out of someone’s yard. You should always get permission to place a sign in someone’s yard. If you ask, you may win a supporter. If you don’t ask, you will almost certainly create an enemy.

  7. When we were having such problems with disappearing yard signs in the Barracks Road area in Charlottesville a few years ago, our Democratic homeowner draped her sign with poison ivy vines. The sign disappeared, but a few days later she noticed a neighbor with a bad case of poison ivy.

  8. I’m gonna go ahead and come out against trespassing and malicious wounding as campaign tactics. Where’s my Profiles in Courage Award? ;)

    One thing I’ve never understood though is the willingness of some retail merchants to allow one side’s political signs on their storefronts. No matter how passionately a D or R one might be, as a convenience store owner, why mess with roughly 1/2 the public who can just as easily drive another mile to the next store?

    Were I a merchant, only the Scouts, yard sale announcements, lost pet rewards and the like would grace my windows.

  9. I once thought the Shell station omn Preston were bastards for supporting Republicans. Then I saw Democratic signs out front. Later, I found out that they just let anyone put signs up.

    Also, you don’t necessarily risk 1/2 the public. Not only does that assume that everyone cares about politics, which is clearly very far from the truth despite the delusional little bubble we all live in. Also, you have to consider that one might be MORE likely to support a store that one agrees with politically. So, it might actually be a gaining proposition.

  10. I sometimes wish I owned a prominently visible from a major street property, so I could put up not just a sign, but a reminder to vote on November 6th (or whatever the date that year), to register by October 9th, and then a series of matched opponent signs for each office:

    State Senator XX district:
    candidate A’s sign, candidate B’s sign, etc if there are 3rd party peeps running

    House of Delegates XX district:
    candidate A’s sign, candidate B’s sign, etc if there are 3rd party peeps running

    I can’t help feeling in every election that part of the reason for so much apathy it that it is just too hard for people to grasp their choices before they show up at the polls, while there is still time to research their decisions.

    The State Board of Elections website is better than it’s ever been before, but it is hard as hell to get a sample ballot with all the choices you’ll have as a registered voter while sitting in the comfort of your home, and that’s what really needs to be available.

    The convenience store that offered that small public service would probably get gobs of traffic, and a big thanks for helping out.

  11. Surely there is no better way to win over the hearts of your potential constituents than to trespass on their propery, set up booby-traps that put them in the emergency room, and then act defensive about it. If I were an Amherst county resident, he’d have my vote for sure!

  12. Jeez — what’s the country come to? I was in Belarus last year just before the so-called presidential elections. THAT was something really nasty but even Lukashenko’s boyz didn’t stoop that low. AND at least they owned up to their actions, by publicly cracking heads in Victory Square. Maybe in Russia…wait, no… I was just there recently as well…they just kill the opposition, no bloody razor blades. Wonder what the future holds for us?

    Kto zdyes Chekist?

  13. Wow, that’s crazy. We just did a case like this in Torts a week ago. A guy set up a booby trap in a house he wasn’t living in using a spring trapped gun. An intruder set off the trap and had half his leg blown off. The intruder sued for damages, but the homeowner said that he was simply defending his property. The court said that using that kind of force was not reasonable for the defense of property because preventing harm to people is more important than preventing harm to property that isn’t associated with a person at the time of trespass. Razor blades, guns and the like are only privileged when the property owner is present in person and is actually threatened, and I think you also have to be sure that asking them to stop or leave would not work/make things worse. (The case was Katko v. Briney, 183 N.W. 2d 657 (Iowa 1971) for those interested, by the way).

    Well, the biggest difference is the fact that Beverly was putting the signs on someone else’s property and that property owner was simply removing them. So it was a trespass on the landowner with some bizarre defense of protecting your property (ie, the signs) so that you can use it to… trespass? Weird.

    People are so ridiculous. Beverly definitely owes that guy damages.

  14. Genevieve, if your professor hasn’t already shown it to you, go find a picture of the Briney’s of Katko v. Briney. Perfect Halloween idea, if you’re looking for one.

  15. Waldo, come quick! Your blog is being taken over by law geeks! :-)

    Out here in White Hall I’ve been pleasantly surprised this year at how little sign stealing/vandalism there seems to be, compared to the last few elections. I think one Mallek sign has disappeared from Sugar Hollow. This may, however, be connected with the fact that the Wyant campaign has distributed about ten zillion signs, and whenever a Mallek sign does go up the nearest Wyant supporter generally puts up about half a dozen more Wyant signs. (I’m exaggerating a bit, but not much.)

  16. Domestic terrorism. I’m sure the DHS and DOJ have been on it immediately. Well, lt’s see, who’s the Republican in this story — let me guess

  17. Domestic terrorism. I’m sure the DHS and DOJ were on it immediately. Well, let’s see, who’s the Republican in this story — let me guess

  18. This is a disgrace…Larry Craig is resigning because of a harmless toe tapping incident…but this jerkoff is continuing to run even though he deliberately made his signs to hurt people who interfered with his campaigning?


    This guy should be barred from public office for life. If the local / state election board continues to let him run, they’re just as bad as he is.

  19. This guy should be barred from public office for life. If the local / state election board continues to let him run, they’re just as bad as he is.

    The only board of elections that we have in Virginia is on the state level, and they have no power to do such a thing.

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