Somebody tried to break down the door at the Comal County Democratic Party headquarters in New Braunfels overnight but New Braunfels Police Department declined to investigate, telling party leaders to file an online police report instead.
Democratic Party Chair Marilyn Aden said today police told her there is no reason for an official investigation since the break-in proved unsuccessful.
She said she is in the process of reviewing footage from security cameras and can clearly see a woman with brown hair, wearing a red top with black sleeves and black pants and blue sneakers, hitting the door twice with a shovel.
New Braunfels police did not immediately respond to a request for comment and referred MyCanyonLake.com to city Media Relations Coordinator David Ferguson, who also did not immediately respond.
Aden said after reviewing the video she left another message, this time with New Braunfels Police Chief Keith Lane.
4:48 p.m. update: Ferguson said the vandalism qualifies as misdemeanor-level criminal mischief because the damage is less than $2,500 and this is why Aden was asked to file an online report.
“All online police reports are reviewed by a police officer for the potential for further follow-up and investigation,” he said. “This report is currently being processed and will be reviewed for the presence of potential evidence. Our online reporting tool gives residents the ability to immediately file a report while allowing officers to remain available for calls that require an on-site response such as traffic accidents, domestic disturbances, and other in-progress calls.”
The vandalism was discovered this morning around 7:30 a.m by a Comal Democrat who showed up to buy a soft drink at the convenience store next to party headquarters at 1592 W. San Antonio Ave.
New Braunfels resident Justin Calhoun, who is running as a Democrat for Texas House District 73, which includes Comal County, said it’s time for residents to move past hate and anger.
“We live in a time where political opinions run deep,” he said. “We as Americans are allowed to voice those disagreements to each other, but violence should never be used to silence others. It’s time to move past the hate and anger in our community and get back to a place where we can set aside our disagreements to solve problems in ways that work for everyone.”
In a statement late this afternoon, Comal County Democrats said in a statement they believe the vandalism occurred sometime after volunteers and staff left the building at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
The building also is used by the Democrats of Comal County and the Democratic Women of Comal County.
“We live in an increasingly polarized society right now, and many of us do not see eye to eye about politics specifically,” Aden said. “But the New Braunfels community has always been able to get along and treat each other with respect and dignity, and it is important that we continue to do that. Regardless of how much we may disagree, it should not be necessary to resort to acts like this to make a point. We don’t know exactly what the motivation was of the person who committed this act of vandalism to our building—I would like to hope that it was a random act that was not directed towards us specifically. But if it was indeed directed towards the Comal County Democratic Party, then the people responsible need to consider the message they are sending about how to live in a civil society.”
(Editor’s note: This is a breaking news story that will be updated throughout the day as more information becomes available.)