Police Continue to Investigate Car Vandalism at Fairways

Derry police are continuing to investigate two incidents of vandalism to a couple living in the Fairways Apartments.

Barry Laughton Sr., 61, and his wife, Nancy, 59, reported a damaged vehicle to the Derry Police on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 8:20 a.m. The car was painted with orange spray paint, Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas said, and was parked in a handicapped space at The Fairways.

“We took the first incident as a prank,” Barry Laughton said.

The Laughtons took the vehicle to a body shop to have it repainted and brought home a rental car, Barry Laughton said. On Saturday morning they discovered that the rental vehicle was also vandalized with orange paint.

Laughton, a veteran from the Vietnam era, is now wondering if he and his wife were being harassed because they were handicapped. Both have a condition called “spinal stenosis,” and he also has a bad heart.

He didn’t think he had any enemies. “We stay to ourselves, but the people in the building are nice,” Laughton said in a phone interview Monday.

Laughton said he has lived in The Fairways for seven years and this is the first time he’s been harassed.

“A number of my neighbors have said that it shouldn’t have happened, and that they will keep an eye out,” he said.

Laughton said he now feels threatened after the second incident, and wonders if it could happen again. He needs to go out for his job as a school bus monitor, and both he and Nancy have regular medical appointments, he said.

But they have been staying close to home.

“I’m afraid to bring our car back here, but we need it,” he said. “I’m afraid I’ll go out and find it vandalized like a pumpkin.”

At the Veterans Breakfast at West Running Brook Middle School Monday, he was encouraged to speak with Police Chief Ed Garone, who told him the Police department has a detective on the case and will increase patrols in The Fairways.

Thomas said Monday that police are continuing to investigate the matter.