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Dearborn Heights — For Dearborn Heights Mayor Daniel Paletko, Christmas 2018 started out less than merry when he discovered someone punctured the tires on three vehicles outside his home. 

It was about 9:45 a.m., as the family prepared to make its way to a 10 a.m. church service, that Paletko's daughter came back inside and shared the bad news:

"We've got a problem," she said. "All the tires are flat."

The side walls of the mayor's personal car, along with his city vehicle, and his daughter's vehicle were all punctured. Paletko wouldn't go as far as to call it a slashing. But the incident did deflate spirits for a brief time. And with Tuesday being Christmas, fixes didn't come easy.

"There was nothing open, under any circumstances, on Christmas," Paletko said.

A phone call to a friend, who happened to be in the area, gave the family its ride to church and back. The family then enjoyed lunch back home before going out that night for dinner.

"It was a strange day," Paletko said. "But we were not going to let it ruin our Christmas."

Paletko believes the damage was done for political reasons.

"Absolutely, it was someone sending a message," he said Wednesday. "I don't know what that message would be, and I'm not sure why. Civility in politics, at all levels, is just getting worse and worse."

Paletko said he feels he's "pretty accessible" when approached with citizen concerns. 

"It's disgusting to have that happen to anyone, under any circumstances, let alone on Christmas," Paletko said, adding that in the Christmas spirit, the family would forgive the vandal. "I hope that individual gets a change of heart, like Scrooge."

Dearborn Heights Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

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