CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Disturbing messages seemingly attacking the gay community appeared Monday night on a Padre Island TxDOT traffic sign.
TxDOT said someone was able to hack the sign, and an investigation is underway into how and why it happened.
Pictures were sent posted by viewers: One read ‘only two genders.’ A second was much more graphic, and 3NEWS has chosen to not share the contents.
“Using government-owned public safety is just an inappropriate place to do that, whether I agree with what they’re saying or not,” said resident Auddy DeCarlo.
The sign was changed back to its original message, but we did find out you can get into some trouble for changing traffic signs. That includes fines and possibly even jail time.
“I try not to get into anybody else’s business,” said Padre Island Hair Salon’s Tim Miller. “I don’t like when they get in mine. And from a business standpoint, I think it was just a prank.”
Others 3NEWS spoke with were disgusted.
“It is irritating that someone would hack a sign and, first of all, to say something grossly offensive,” said resident Laurie DeCarlo.
Nom’s Kitchen’s Shane Ciardelli said he was caught off-guard by the message.
“I am pretty surprised because I thought The Island was kinda like more laid back,” he said. “I didn’t know it was that prejudiced.”
TxDOT said regardless of the message, they don’t treat these cases lightly.
“When they manipulate a safety message on a roadside sign, they cross the line from being pranksters to potentially endangering the public,” said TxDOT spokesman Rickey Dailey.