Michigan man's Trump Unity Bridge stolen, smashed into median

August 31, 2020 - 11:45 am

(WWJ) Rob Cortis' Trump Unity Bridge, a traveling bridge-turned-billboard supporting President Donald Trump, was stolen and smashed on a trip to Oklahoma, he reported.

Cortis stopped at an Embassy Suites Aug. 28 in Tulsa, Okla., while hauling the 30-foot behemoth that carries messages about loving Trump when it was suddenly driven away from the hotel. Police gave chase to the driver -- who frankly would have been impossible to miss on the freeway -- and he eventually crashed the SUV hauling the bridge into a median.

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The man fled, but was caught.

Cortis, of Livonia, told WWJ Newsradio he was there when the culprit was handcuffed.

"I said, 'What you did brought more attention to my message and more people in America are going to vote for Trump because they're going to see your stupidity and criminal actions,'" Cortis said.

The bridge was damaged when the driver smashed over a curb and into the median, Cortis said.

"Nothing like this has ever happened," said Cortis, who repurposed the 5-ton steel bridge from his property into an attention-getting means of Trump campaign support in 2016. "It's F'ed up," he said about the condition of his bridge during a Facebook live in the aftermath of the theft. "They smashed the hell out of it. This is a disaster."

The bridge initially had anti-Hillary Clinton messages saying "Lock Her Up," but Cortis eventually settled on making it a device to gain support for Trump's border wall. It's now rife with messages that say, “All Lives Matter,” “Build The Wall,” and “Make America Great Again.” He hauls it to Trump rallies and to protests against coronavirus lockdowns. He was on his way to a rally at Lake of the Ozarks.

As for the suspect, it's unknown if the theft was politically motivated or just a crime of opportunity. He's being held in the Tulsa County Jail and faces charges of reckless driving, eluding and larceny of an auto, per online jail records.

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