A Donald Trump supporter has built a bigger, red-white-and-blue "T" for his Staten Island lawn after the first "T" was incinerated by vandals.
Sam Pirozzoloand artistScott LoBaido, who calls himself a "patriot," got together after the first 12-foothomage to the Republican presidential candidate was torched on Sunday. The new 16-foot signis latex painted on foam insulation with a wooden support frame.
“We’re gonna figure out a way for Mexico to pay for it,” Pirozzolo joked to theNew York Post.
By American patriot Scott LoBadio pic.twitter.com/QoNoHOUUey— Sam Pirozzolo (@SPirozzolo) May 26, 2016
On Sunday at 1 a.m., Pirozzolo was woken up by a driver who stopped to alert him that his lawn was on fire.
Pirozzolocompared the burning of his sign to methods of harassment used by the KKK, according to The Associated Press.
"Oh, my God, this is like the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross on my lawn, telling me that I have to shut up," he said regarding the fire.
Pirozzolo and LoBaidostarted building the new "T" the very next day.Pirozzolo said Trump called him on Monday to thank him for his support, according to the AP.
Trump received 82 percent of the Staten Island vote in the New York primary and dozens of people reportedly gathered around the new "T" singing "God Bless America," waving flags and yelling anti-Clinton phrases.
Pirozzolo said"pro-Hillary Clinton thugs" are responsible for the arson and he thinks the act of vandalism should be considered a hate crime, the AP reported.
“If this was about my religion or if I was gay, this would be a hate crime,” the 52-year-old optician told the New YorkPost. “It’s crazy not to make this a hate crime.”
Many motorists are honking and shouting approval, but not everyone is as thrilled.
“The sign is an eyesore and it’s blatantly disrespectful to your neighbors,” a neighbortold the Post. “I’m all for art and free speech, but nobody likes it when it’s obnoxious. This is far beyond obnoxious.”