Only on 12: Vandal accused of defacing dozens of campaign signs speaks out

Several signs supporting Mitt Romney and Lee Anderson were damaged this week. (WRDW-TV)

Several signs supporting Mitt Romney and Lee Anderson were damaged this week. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 First at Five / Friday, Oct. 19, 2012

GROVETOWN, Ga. -- The Columbia County woman arrested for allegedly destroying dozens of campaign signs is now talking exclusively with News 12's Laura Warren about why she did it.

Angelique Bane, 29, says she roped two of her younger friends into the plan. She says the youngest is 17, and he's still in jail.

Looking back, she says she would have done things differently.

"It wasn't preplanned, it was just kind of in the moment, just doing dumb stuff I guess that day, and it just got a little out of hand," she said.

The Anderson team was busy building new campaign signs Friday after dozens were destroyed.

"It's just really unfortunate that someone would stoop to that level," said
Jessica Hayes, press secretary for Lee Anderson's campaign.

News 12's Laura Warren asked Bane, "Do you wish you wouldn't have done it at all?"

"Yeah, jail will do that," she replied. "It wasn't fun."

After being hauled off to jail and facing criminal charges, she's rethinking her decision.

"There are much better ways to protest issues and more mature ways, and I definitely wouldn't have gotten my friends in trouble," she said.

As for the victims, Anderson's campaign says they aren't taking this lightly.

"This wasn't a prank, this was a targeted effort aimed at Lee Anderson and Mitt Romney's campaign," Hayes said.

"I had a statement to make with the Mitt Romney signs, the Lee Anderson signs just happened to be with the Mitt Romney signs," Bane said.

But unfortunately, it was a costly statement to make, in more ways than one.

"Each sign is about $50 a piece, so we're working right now to try to replace those," Hayes said.

And even though Bane is out of jail for now, Anderson's campaign plans to prosecute all of the vandals.

"This is a crime, not a prank, and we are fully planning to move forward and press charges," Hayes said.

Bane says she wouldn't advocate this for anyone.

"But, we did it, we're taking responsibility for it, those were our decisions," she said.

As for now, they are being charged with two counts of criminal trespass, but there are 38 different misdemeanors that will all be rolled in to one charge. Anderson's campaign says they will be seeking full restitution.

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