Police in Berlin and Southington have arrested a 58-year-old Bristol man who they said left pornography with racist messages strewn across lawns of random houses for years.
Gilbert Lévesque, 58, of Bristol, was arrested on Monday after a months-long investigation. Between his arrests in Berlin and Southington, he faces more than 50 charges. Berlin police charged him with 44 counts of counts of second-degree breach of peace.
Southington police have been investigating since four residents filed complaints on May 18 after finding pornographic clippings in front of or near their homes.
Over each image, vulgar and racist messages were scrawled in marker, police said.
When they announced the arrest on Monday, Southington police said they had received complaints on May 18, May 21 and May 24 and have charged Lévesque with six counts of breach of peace, one count of risk of injury and impairing the morals of children for those incidents.
This has been happening in Southington for the past 13 years, including in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Old Saybrook, police said, but it’s not clear if Lévesque is suspected in all the cases.
In Berlin, police did see someone in a car he owns dumping pornographic pictures in town, according to the arrest warrant.
"Two weeks ago, we were lucky enough to actually see the individual drop the material so we were able to obtain and identify the vehicle and obtain a search warrant for the residence of the individual involved," Berlin Deputy Police Chief John Klett said.
Berlin police found hundreds of photocopied pornographic materials and several items with offensive language written on them in his home. When police interviewed Lévesque, he said he did it because of family problems.
"Most of the remarks on the material was disparaging Southington. The individual's brother lives there and they had some type of falling out," Klett said.
Those who found the upsetting images say they're glad police made an arrest. One of the people who found the disturbing images is Louis Miller, of Berlin. Miller, a grandparent, said of the arrest, "I think that's wonderful. hopefully they're able to prosecute or get him help or put him away."
He's had to keep a close eye on his front lawn as a result of the incidents .
"I have six grandchildren you can't even let your kids ride bikes by themselves or play out in the yard," Miller said. "It's sad that people do that where you have kids on both sides of us here."
Lévesque was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond for the Southington charges and is due in Bristol Superior Court on Nov. 23.
Police in Berlin said they investigated several incidents over the past two years, including in the Savage Hill Road area.
When police searched Lévesque’s home, they found a “large amount of evidence” and said it looks like the material was distributed at random and did not specifically target anyone.
He was released on a $5,000 bond for charges in both Southington and Berlin and is scheduled to be arraigned in New Britain Superior Court on Nov. 18 for the Berlin charges.