Ted Poull was an infantryman in Vietnam so he can handle himself in a fight.
After his large handmade “Veterans for Biden” sign was vandalized seven times since mid-September, Poull had had enough.
The 4-foot by 8-foot plywood sign includes a painting of Poull’s uniform and medals, “Veterans for Biden” and the phrase “No ID required” at the bottom. He’s not a fan of Wisconsin’s Voter ID law.
He’s had cardboard yard signs stolen from his rural Town of Saukville home and someone has driven over his large plywood sign numerous times.
“I kept putting it up. They kept knocking it down,” Poull, 71, said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
Poull, a retired carpenter and construction supervisor, even painted “I Won’t Back Down” on his sign. It got knocked over.
So he put up a trail camera commonly used to take photos and video of wild animals. On Oct. 18, someone drove their car across Poull’s lawn and knocked over his “Veterans for Biden” sign and damaged his yard.
He contacted the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department the next morning and the trail cam showed a vehicle with what appeared to be a sticker of a skull on the back. The deputy told Poull it was from the comic book character the Punisher.
Using images from the trail cam, deputies determined the make and model, which helped them track down the vehicle’s owner — Daniel Seyfert, 51, who lives near Poull in Saukville. Seyfert admitted to deputies he intentionally damaged Poull’s signs by driving over them with his vehicle, the sheriff’s department said.
Poull wasn’t told the name of the sign vandal but deputies said the man lives nearby.
Seyfert was cited for criminal damage to property, hit-and-run property damage adjacent to a highway and failure to report an accident. The sheriff’s department has also requested Seyfert pay restitution for damages to Poull’s sign and property.
Poull served in the Army from 1969 to 1971, including a tour of Vietnam, earning two Bronze Stars, the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for valor, Combat Infantry Badge and the Air Medal for 22 combat assault missions while serving in the 1st Cavalry Division.
Poull, who has already cast his vote, knows tempers have flared across the country during this election. And he understands that Trump and Biden supporters sometimes get into heated debates with each other.
But he’s perplexed as to why someone would get so angry they would drive their car across his lawn and knock over his sign.
“If I haven’t earned the right to voice an opinion, then who in the hell has?” Poull said.