WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — When West St. Paul Mayor Jenny Halverson heard a strange sound coming from underneath her car last week, she thought it was just another annoying part of owning a vehicle.
“We got it up to the tire shop and they pulled a screw out of the tire and said ‘This is what was causing the leak,’” said Halverson.
That was until she found out she wasn’t the only one going flat. In recent weeks, Mayor Halverson, along with five of her supporters, found screws either in or near their tires and all of them have something in common.
“It’s so easy to connect those dots. We are all people who spoke at that May 14 meeting. It’s really disheartening and I’ll say it again, disturbing,” said Halverson.
In April, Mayor Halverson found boxes of feminine hygiene products on her doorstep after she appointed three females to city government positions.
Hundreds packed the next city council meeting on May 14, speaking out against misogyny and sexism, including Katie Dohman and Wendy Berry.
“I feel like we were all very civil, all of our comments were based in fact. But if you have gone a long time in your life and have never had to hear the hard truth, that can be difficult,” said Dohman, who also found a screw in her tire.
Berry’s story is similar.
“The tire guy was pretty sure it was intentionally placed,” said Berry.
The group believes these screws are a dangerous attempt to silence outspoken females in the city.
“It makes me super angry that somebody would be willing to endanger the lives of my children, like what if we would have been driving on the freeway?” said Dohman.
Whether it’s screws or tissues, they insist they are not backing down and will continue to speak up.
“We are equally as smart and capable as a male so we have every right to be in every position,” said Berry, who is running for city council.
A police report has been filed with the West St. Paul Police Department, and investigators are working to find out if there is a connection between all of these cases.
If someone is found responsible for targeting specific people with screws, they could be subject to charges of criminal damage to property and assault.