A pro-Trump trailer dubbed the "Trump Unity Bridge" was vandalized Friday after the driver stopped in Alexandria, Virginia, en route to a rally near the White House in support of the president.
A 2004 Yukon XL with an attached motorcycle trailer towing “Trump” in large white letters is driven by 55-year-old Rob Cortis, a Livonia retiree who worked in catering.
The Unity Bridge is 50 feet long and more than 13 feet tall with white block letters and a human-sized Statue of Liberty tailgating the back. It took to the road in October 2016 and has traveled over 40,000 miles in its coast-to-coast tour so far, Cortis said.
Cortis said while the mobile was parked in the hotel parking lot, it was vandalized around 8 a.m. before police woke him and notified him of the damage, he said.
Cortis said vandals keyed the car with hate messages, stole the flags, put some sugar in the gas tank, clogged the tailpipe, stole video cameras, ripped an arm off the statue, cut cable wires and slashed tires.
While police were collecting finger prints and writing up the case, Cortis recorded a Facebook live video showcasing the damages.
He said vandals racked up to $4,000 in damages, but they were back on the road fairly quickly.
"The police got a bunch of fingerprints and were very helpful. They helped me fix wires and remove stuff out of the tailpipe and get our tires rolling," Cortis said.
As for the damaged items, Cortis said he is saving it as memorabilia for the future.
“We're saving it, maybe the statue can go into the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit next to Rosa Parks’ bus because this was an attack on unity," Cortis said.
Cortis has owned the rig since 1985 and originally envisioned it would serve as the backdrop for wedding celebrations and photographs. It made news after it was stolen from his property in 2014.
Later, Cortis said he was inspired to transform it into a Unity Bridge by a speech from Pope Francis saying Americans should “build bridges, not walls.”
Cortis said he’s covered costs of the Unity Bridge on his own but has been receiving donations during his tour and said: “Up until now, we’ve had nothing but support.”