Mayoral candidate Schrader accused of vandalizing bench

May 8, 2019

Minutes before polls closed Tuesday, Fort Wayne mayoral candidate Tommy Schrader reportedly vandalized a bench outside an eatery on the city’s northeast side.

Schrader, 56, wrote the words “p----” and “money” on the bench at Jeff’s Coney in the Georgetown Square shopping center on East State Boulevard, according to court documents filed today in Allen Superior Court. A swastika also was drawn on the bench in red, permanent marker, a probable cause affidavit alleges.

″(Schrader) stated that the employees of Jeff’s Coney made him angry so he wrote the words ... on their bench,” Fort Wayne police officer Bobby Lemon wrote in a report. “Schrader then stated that he drew a symbol of a swastika on the bench because it was his right to do so because freedom of speech.”

The perennial candidate for local office was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief. A court hearing is scheduled today.

Police were called to the business at 5:40 p.m. Polls closed at 6 p.m.

Schrader sought the Democratic nomination for mayor and finished third in a three-way race against Gina Burgess and incumbent Tom Henry. Henry took more than 86 percent of the vote, and unofficial election returns show 216 people cast ballots for Schrader.

″(He) stated that he knew he shouldn’t have done it but he was mad at the employees of Jeff’s Coney,” the affidavit states.