Ventura County Sheriff's Office Employee Among 3 Accused of Vandalizing Black Lives Matter Sign

A Ventura County Sheriff's Office employee and an investigative assistant with the District Attorney's Office are two of the three men arrested.

Sheriff's deputies evacuate a threatened neighborhood

Image via Getty/David McNew

Sheriff's deputies evacuate a threatened neighborhood

A Ventura County Sheriff's Office employee and an investigative assistant with the District Attorney's Office are two of the three men arrested for vandalizing a Black Lives Matter sign, NBC News reports

Thousands Oaks residents, Darrin Stone, Craig Anderson, and Jeffrey Moore, were identified by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office as the men who vandalized a Black Lives Matter sign that was placed on private property. For the past few weeks, a makeshift Black Lives Matters sign had been secured to a fence on Westlake Boulevard. It had been tampered with several times moving the owner to place a surveillance camera near the sign to catch anyone who tried to move or damage it. 

Sheriff's Office employee, Darrin Stone, was seen on June 13 and June 19 cutting the sign with a knife. The footage was uploaded to the internet which notified his employer. Stone was reportedly off-duty both times he vandalized the sign. 

"I'm deeply disappointed that one of our employees involved himself in this type of illegal activity, especially when this is an infringement on someone's First Amendment right to freedom of speech," Sheriff Bill Ayub said in a statement addressing Stone's "unethical behavior." "We hold our employees to the highest standards, and there will be consequences for this."

The 60-year-old Stone has been an employee of the Sherriff's Office since 2005. He was most recently assigned to be a service technician at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura. He was arrested on Friday and issued a misdemeanor citation for vandalism. 

Craig Anderson is a 59-year-old investigative assistant with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. Like Stone, he was also caught on camera trying to cut down the sign on May 31 before noticing the camera and leaving. He was issued a misdemeanor vandalism citation for the incident. 

The District Attorney’s Office released a statement on Saturday explaining that Anderson only worked for the office for four months and he has since resigned for his position. 

"Mr. Anderson has worked as a non-sworn investigative assistant with the District Attorney’s office for approximately four months. In accordance with District Attorney policy, the misdemeanor vandalism citation will be referred to the Attorney General’s Office for all purposes due to Mr. Anderson’s employment status," the statement reads. "Mr. Anderson has resigned his employment with the District Attorney’s office."

Like the other suspects, Jeffrey Moore was issued a misdemeanor citation after spray painting the sign on June 11. The police identified him because his employer's name and phone number were on the work truck he used to flee the scene.  

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