Witness to political vandalism: ‘I don’t want anybody to lose their job’
By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON, Wis. — If you’re looking for the unsolicited truth, at least as some extremely angry, grammatically challenged people see it, look no further than Craigslist.
The classified advertisements website on Monday hosted some pointed opinions on April Kay Smith, the 38-year-old Germantown kindergarten teacher accused of vandalizing several political signs at a GOP booth on the opening night of the Jefferson County Fair.
HELP: Roxane Stillman, a witness to a reported political vandalism incident at the Jefferson County Fair, said she doesn’t want the suspect to lose her job as a kindergarten teacher. But Stillman says April Kay Smith could use some help.
Nearly a month after Smith reportedly was cited for disorderly conduct for the June 9 incident, Wisconsin Reporter obtained the suspect’s name in a Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department incident report.
“Keep laughing. We are now counting down to when this criminal piece of (expletive deleted) April Kay Smith will be FIRED from Germantown schools,” one Craigslist poster wrote. The message ironically ended with the warning, “do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers.” Unsolicited opinions, well, that’s apparently all right on Craigslist.
There were plenty of those kinds of comments, and at least one in support of Smith’s smackdown on the Republican candidate signs, particularly on the ones bearing the name of Gov. Scott Walker.
“You are my hero! I wish I was there and could of participated,” one Craigslister wrote. “Too Funny how you have whiners crying about a banner ripped or torn up. You should get major $$$ for going on a speech tour. You are the best for doing what you did. Laughing so hard I may wet myself. Your students should be proud you stood up to what you believe in.”
But Roxane Stillman, the 62-year-old cancer survivor who called for police and chased Smith down in a 30-minute scramble around the fairgrounds after witnessing the vandalism, said she just wants Smith to get some help.
“The only thing I can say is, I don’t want anybody to lose their job. I want her to go talk to somebody,” said Stillman, of rural Madison. “I can’t believe anything political would make someone so angry. She needs to go talk to someone. Maybe some anger management might be in order.”
Wisconsin Reporter could not reach Smith for comment Monday. An email sent to Smith’s Germantown School District account went unreturned.
Last week, Stillman told Wisconsin Reporter that she and a friend were enjoying some kettle corn on a bench across from the Jefferson County Republican Party booth after the fair had closed for the evening, when she said she saw a young woman who looked to be in her late 20s or early 30s walk up to the booth with a man. Stillman said the woman squatted down, like she was relieving herself, and then began smashing up the signs.
Stillman called out to the woman, telling her to wait, that she was going to call the police. The woman started walking away — then she started running, Stillman said.
“I said, ‘Honey, I’m good for about five miles. If you want to run, that’s OK. I’ll stay with you,’” Stillman said. “When she realized she wasn’t going to outrun me she started walking fast all over the fairgrounds trying to ditch me. Everywhere we walked, I yelled out, “Someone get the police! This lady damaged property.”
Stillman claims that, at one point in the chase, the woman grabbed her arm, squeezed it hard and said, “You must like the Koch brothers!”
She claims the suspect left bruises up and down her arm. Stillman said she attempted to file a battery charge against Smith last week, but she was told that, because the bruises had faded, there was no longer any evidence to support her claim.
Stillman said an officer told her that he hoped the witness’ claims aren’t some “political stunt.”
“I said, ‘This has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with her (Smith) doing something wrong,’” Stillman said. “I said, ‘I voted for Obama. I wouldn’t do it again, but I also wouldn’t destroy signs. What she did was wrong.”