EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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April 8, 2013

Lantigua critic: I vandalized mayor's truck


“He stated he has left the truck there before with no problems,” Bartlett wrote in her report.

The next day (Good Friday), after City Hall closed at noon, Lantigua walked over to Bali’s to get his truck. First, he saw garbage all over the hood, he said. There were also cardboard boxes on top of the car, a small broomstick was placed down the door handle and garbage bags were in the bed of the truck.

He used his remote to start the truck. Right away, he noticed something was wrong so he shut off the truck, he said.

He got out and found lottery tickets jammed in the muffler pipe. When he checked the gas tank, he found rock salt was thrown inside.

Lantigua took pictures of the damage and “he now realized that was not a prank, but malicious, and said he didn’t realize right away that it was malicious or he would not have touched anything,” Bartlett wrote.

The mayor called his mechanic, who told him not to drive the truck. It was then towed to West Street Auto.

Lantigua and police checked with area businesses, some of which had video surveillance cameras in the area. Detective Capt. Denis Pierce retrieved and processed video, which clearly showed Arevalo in the area. Police called Arevalo and asked him to come into the station on Thursday.

Bartlett and Detective Jamie Brito both spoke with Arevalo about his history with the mayor. After asking numerous questions about his activities that night, police showed Arevalo the surveillance tape. He admitted to the vandalism, according to the report.

“... (He) was reminded that there would be differences in political opinion but things should not rise to this level ... Mr. Arevalo apologized for his actions and left the station,” Bartlett wrote.

In January 2011, Arevalo unsuccessfully sought a restraining order against Lantigua, telling a District Court judge he feared for his safety after an earlier confrontation in a downtown nightclub with the mayor. He then sought a restraining order against Blanchette, which was also denied.

At that time, Lantigua dismissed Arevalo as a “nut” working with his political opponents to discredit him.

Neither Arevalo nor Lantigua could be reached for comment last night.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.




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