Largo businessman Joe Mazzara is facing 12 counts of vandalism, after being caught putting bumper stickers on street and stop signs across St. Petersburg, Clearwater and other Pinellas County cities.
Mazzara said, “this is out of control and the police department has a lot more important things to deal with than bumper stickers.”
He took to putting up the stickers, because he’s disgruntled with the judge who handled his divorce case.
Mazzara went on to say, “the moral here is they are trying to tell me don’t mess with a judge and my reply is this is a first amendment issue.”
The 67 year old man admits he’s the one who put up the bumper stickers to try and get his message across to as many people as possible.
But police stress, its simply against the law, and its costs hundreds of dollars for city crews to remove them.“
We just can’t allow those stickers to remain up there because if that practice is allowed to continue than people utilize those as billboards and we can’t we have to keep this signs open so people can see what the message is because it is a safety issue.” said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.
When the bumper stickers started showing up by the hundreds everywhere,police set up surviellance cameras to try and catch Mazzara in the act.
Mazzara added, “I think this is a total waste of taxpayer money.
But St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz refuted that, “my message would be that he is the one who is wasting taxpayers money.”
Mazzara doesn’t plan to go down without a fight.
He added, “I want my day in court, they have offered a plea deal and they have modified the plea deal to be less than what they offered but i am not interested in any plea deal.”
If Mazzara is convicted on all 12 counts of vandalism, he could face up to sixty days in jail on each count.