Rudy Medina of Halawa displayed a vandalized "Bainum for Mayor" sign that had been displayed on his property. He has been plagued by vandals in a series of incidents dating back to June.

Sign vandalism
raises fears for safety

A Halawa man says he will take Bainum
signs down following escalating attacks

After weeks of campaign signs being defaced on his Halawa property, Rudy Medina said enough is enough.

Medina, 75, said he decided yesterday to take down most of the Duke Bainum campaign signs posted on his Ulune Street property because he is afraid for his and his wife's safety after vandals struck over the weekend, setting fire to two banners, throwing white paint on Medina's van and prowling around his property.

"Maybe we will dispose of the property and move away. We feel insecure now," Medina said. "We don't know why they hate us ... we just want to live peacefully."

Medina said since he allowed the signs to be posted on his property, they have caused him nothing but grief. Now, he said, the vandalism has escalated.

"It's dangerous now. I don't know what (are) the objectives of these people," Medina said.

Medina, who lives at a major intersection with Kahuapaani Street, put up the signs at the request of his niece, who is a Bainum campaign supporter.

Medina awoke some time after midnight Saturday to his barking dog. Then, he saw flames outside his window.

"A man burned two of the posters of Mr. Bainum," Medina said. "When I shouted, they run away."

Medina, who has lived there for about five years, said he was afraid the flames would spread to his house.

Medina said he believes the vandals who burned the signs returned to his property about two hours later. "They throw paint on my van," Medina said.

The last straw was early yesterday morning when he awoke to find prowlers in his yard.

"I think they are the same guys. They were heavy built. They were checking everything. I turn on my spotlight, they go away," Medina said.

"Me and my wife (Cecilia) remove the signs today," Medina said late yesterday afternoon.

Bainum said in a statement: "The sign stealing and vandalism the Medinas experienced prior to Friday night has always been criminal. Now it has escalated to potentially life threatening ... Campaign signs are not worth that kind of risk."

The campaign of Bainum's opponent Mufi Hannemann did not return a phone call yesterday seeking comment, but officials have said in the past that it is not responsible for the vandalism and doesn't condone such action.



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