State Rep. Aaron Bernstine fired off a warning this week to would-be vandals after he found garbage and feces strewn on his driveway.
The Lawrence County Republican posted a video on Facebook of him participating in tactical firearms training. In the video, accompanied by the hashtag #CastleDoctrine, Bernstine shoots at a target more than a dozen times. The castle doctrine allows people under certain circumstances to use deadly force to defend themselves against intruders.
“I will never hesitate to defend my family should someone have tried to take that a step further,” Bernstine, 33, said Friday.
Bernstine said he discovered the vandalism Tuesday morning at his 107-acre New Beaver beef cattle farm. Strewn about were trash, boxes, towels and, he believes, human excrement.
“There was underwear and human feces on that underwear,” Bernstine said. “It almost looked like somebody took a bucket and dumped it.”
The purpose of the vandalism was “pretty obvious” to the first-term lawmaker, who represents constituents in parts of Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, he said.
“It’s disappointing that someone would do something like that to try to intimidate in some form,” Bernstine said. “Rest assured, I don’t worry about that. I was excited to get back to work.”
Bernstine took to Facebook shortly after cleaning up his property to send a message to the culprit or culprits, who remained out of view of his home’s security cameras.
“Throwing trash and human feces on my driveway makes you a pretty disgusting human being,” he wrote in the post. “I would strongly recommend that you not try to enter our home or property. As you can see, we are willing and able to protect ourselves.”
In an interview Friday with the Tribune-Review, Bernstine said the vandalism won’t stop him from supporting issues important to him.
“This is an example of the consequences of the hyperpartisan rhetoric that exists in our political sphere today,” he said.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374 or [email protected] .