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Ascension Parish councilman’s tire slashed, car keyed amid ongoing recall efforts

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 9:34 PM CDT
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ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana politics we know can get heated, but the Ascension Parish Sheriff says things are getting out of hand, after someone keyed a councilman’s car and slashed one of his tires early Wednesday morning on July 28.

“Somebody came to my house, keyed my vehicle, and put a knife in my tire,” said Aaron Lawler, Ascension Parish councilman for district 7.

Lawler says, he’s fine if folks disagree with him politically, it’s all part of the job. But someone coming to his house, and vandalizing his property, crosses the line.

“It angers me, it really angers me. Because my wife has really been affected by this,” said Ascension Parish Councilman Aaron Lawler, District 7.

Local councilman's car keyed.
Local councilman's car keyed.(WAFB)

The councilman says he didn’t even realize his tire was busted, until he was driving his car with his son inside.

“It scared me. I think it scared my son worse. It scared my wife more than anybody because now she is having to deal with this, people actually coming to my house and are physically doing things,” said Lawler.

“It’s a lot of damage to the vehicle and we actually found a portion of the knife blade in the tire. So, it’s a real damage to property. We don’t yet know who did this. Obviously the car could have flipped over, he could’ve went into another lane, so yes this had the potential of killing somebody,” said Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre.

This comes at a time, when politics in Ascension Parish have reached a sort of breaking point.

In recent weeks, residents have packed council meetings, furious over flooding concerns, new development, and the council taking Parish President Clint Cointment off as head of the drainage board.

Now, there are recall efforts against some councilmembers, including Aaron Lawler.

“I think the people involved with this are probably associated with this (recall) one way or another. Whether they support it or, it’s just the rhetoric has gotten too intense,” said Lawler.

But Sheriff Webre says the motive remains unclear, and there are still no suspects yet.

“And I’m not pointing fingers at anyone right now, we’ll see where this investigation leads. But it would be a time that I think, all of the citizens should allow the democratic process to work out, to allow a good and vigorous debate over where Ascension Parish needs to be headed,” said Sheriff Webre.

“We all need to be able to talk to each other and that’s been lost. If there’s a disagreement, it turns into, you’re a horrible person, you’re corrupt, and that’s not true. And it really hurts the parish overall,” said Councilman Lawler.

Sheriff Webre tells WAFB, they do not take cases like this lightly, and he has two detectives investigating the case.

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment released a statement on Facebook:

“To be clear, under no circumstances are threats and/or acts of violence including vandalism against public servants or property to be tolerated. I believe in people’s right to express themselves. I understand we are in a very controversial and charged environment. I am asking our community to express themselves respectfully in a way that we can all be proud of as citizens of Ascension Parish.”

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