Nov 8, 2015 6:38 PM
Police investigate vandalism directed at disabled Derry couple
DERRY - Police are investigating several acts of vandalism that appear to be directed at a disabled couple living in the Fairways apartment complex.
Barry and Nancy Laughton say they've lived at the Fairways for about seven years and never had any trouble until they were assigned a permanent handicapped parking space.
"We had a sign on the handicapped sign that said reserved for 2-H, and it was after we put that on there that stuff started happening to the car," said Barry Laughton.
Laughton is a disabled veteran who is recovering from triple by-pass surgery. His wife uses a cane.
Last Wednesday, he came out to his car and found dog feces smeared on the sides. He wrote it off as a Halloween prank and washed it off.
The next day, there was something on the car he couldn't easily wash off - spray paint.
“The next night they got creative. They sprayed the whole car with this orange [paint]. Front back, my sun roof, windows," he said.
The Laughtons are the parents of former state Rep. Stacie Laughton, a transgender woman who was arrested in March after making a bomb threat. The family does not believe this is a hate crime or that Stacie is in any way connected to the crime.
“I’m just appalled, I can’t believe that somebody would do this," Nancy Laughton said.
The problems didn't end when they brought the car in to the shop to clean off the spray paint. They parked a rental car in their parking spot and on Saturday morning, they found it, too, had been spray painted.
There was even sugar on the ground and the gas cap was opened, suggesting someone had tried to pour sugar into the tank.
“It’s a shame that if they are targeting veterans, and handicapped people," Barry Laughton said.
Neighbors who have lived at the complex for years also can't believe what happened.
Yolanda Morales said she's never had a problem. "I would come late at night time and always felt safe,” she said.“This has never happened and for this to happen now, it’s disgusting."
Police say they have no suspects yet, but the case remains under investigation. Anyone who may have information about the case is asked to contact the Derry police at 432-6111.