Man charged after painting pro-cop blue line on road near N.J. courthouse, police say
A man from Toms River was accused Wednesday of drawing a blue line on a township street when he was not allowed to do so, police said.
The move came days after Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy saw the painting of a blue line on Hooper Avenue near the Ocean County Justice Complex, which also includes the Ocean County Courthouse, according to an Asbury Park Press report , had set up. Ocean County director Gary Quinn told the publication that while the Ocean County Board of Commissioners supported the idea, the professional staff advised against the sheriff’s suggestion.
“It would open us to possible legal liability in the event of future accidents,” Quinn said in the report, noting that he would instead support a proposal to hoist flags in aid of law enforcement along Hooper Avenue.
Proponents of the thin blue line say it represents a sign of support for the police, but the image is linked to the Blue Lives Matter movement, which was formed as a backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Before an idea could materialize, 43-year-old David Giordano allegedly painted a four-inch wide blue line between the double yellow lines on Hooper Avenue and was summoned for a criminal accident, according to a notice from the Toms River Police Department.
“While we appreciate the overwhelming support for law enforcement, we cannot tolerate the defacing of property,” the statement said.
The line, allegedly painted by Giordano, was later painted over by local street crews because the color blue isn’t legal on public roads, Jersey Shore Online reported.
Giordano was already in a different context in Ocean County Jail when he was accused of drawing the blue line.
The surveillance footage showed Giordano with a bucket cart he owned that was confiscated from Freedom Towing & Recovery on Route 9 after entering the facility through a locked gate at the back of the property, police said. The vehicle had been seized and was on the property for 313 days as unpaid bills were owed for the seizure and storage, police said.
Police say they were called into the store on March 22nd and identified Giordano from the footage.
Later that morning, the truck was found illegally parked in Toms River City Hall in Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill’s parking lot. The boom was extended so that other trucks could not get through, the authorities said.
Giordiano was arrested Tuesday and charged with theft of personal property, theft of services, burglary and criminal mischief, police said.
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Chris Sheldon can be reached at [email protected]