NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Deputies investigate vandalism to Manatee County judge candidate's car

A corrosive substance was poured on the car
Posted at 10:26 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-10 00:05:58-04

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Manatee County deputies are investigating vandalism to a county judge candidate's car.

Kristy Zinna is running for county court judge in the November election. She said she noticed a corrosive substance on her car. There were brown and green puddles on the ground.

Her daughter noticed the gas tank wide-open on her mother's vehicle.

"Angry. I'm not scared, but I'm pretty mad," said Kristy Zinna.

Her Mercedes-Benz remains at a local dealership. She said mechanics believe it was paint stripper and brake fluid poured onto 75% of her vehicle.

"All over the back, the side and the front of the vehicle and the undercarriage where the break lines all had been sprayed with the corrosive substance," said Zinna.

Zinna also found fluid in the gas tank. Deputies believe she was targeted and did not receive any other reports of vandalism in the area.

"I 100% believe I was targeted...It's the car that I use for work and campaign that was targeted," she said.

Deputies released video from a neighbor's security camera that shows a vehicle driving back and forth then stopping outside her house. The vandalism was not caught on camera, according to deputies.

"They found a dark SUV that passed my house close to 2 a.m. and turned the headlights off then parked. A man got out at some point looked at my house, got back into the car, drove a little closer to it and then stepped out into my driveway and out of camera range," she said.

Zinna said she had security cameras installed around her house after the vandalism.

"I have cameras now and a very good alarm system," she said.

She said she will not let anyone intimidate her and she will continue on the campaign trail.

"I want to serve the community. This is my home. I grew up in Manatee County. I went to elementary school here," she said.

Zinna has worked for both the State Attorney's Office and the Public Defender's Office in Manatee County. She left government practices in 2013 and began practicing various fields of civil law.

Zinna is running against Prosecutor Melissa Gould in the November election.

Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at: (941) 747-3011.