ctnewsjunkie file photo
Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato, R-Bristol, speaks in the House of Representatives in 2019 (ctnewsjunkie file photo)

A Bristol man and his former neighbor got an apology from state Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato, R-Bristol, after she allegedly left a profanity-laced note hanging from a mailbox where she was asked to remove her illegally parked car Saturday.

Pavalock-D’Amato called the neighbor a “foreclosured loser” and said, “listen close bitch,” before offering a veiled threat that next time “you come at me, you better know who the f*** you’re dealing with,” according to Bristol resident Ryan Bousquet.

The incident blew up on Facebook and has now become political with Pavalock-D’Amato’s Democratic challenger for the 77th District seat turning it into a commentary on how she’s handled evictions and foreclosures during the pandemic.

“This kind of behavior from a three-term state representative is really unacceptable,” said Andrew Rasmussen-Tuller, who is running against Pavalock-D’Amato. “I was surprised when she sued the state to end eviction protections in June, during the height of the pandemic, especially since she is an attorney who specializes in foreclosures. One would think she would have seen the struggles of families who are trying to make ends meet with reduced work hours and other economic difficulties.”

The note represented what national politics has become, said Rippy Patton, chair of the Bristol Democratic Town Committee.

“Calling out a family as foreclosure losers is indicative of where we have come in politics,” Patton said. “It’s cruel and childish and similar to some of the other statements we are hearing on the national stage. Elected officials should represent us all, not just a specific set of citizens.”

In a brief statement released Tuesday afternoon, Pavalock-D’Amato apologized for the incident but did not mention the note:

“I apologize for any inconvenience or misunderstanding caused over the weekend in my Bristol neighborhood,” her statement said. “I brought my two-year-old son with me to an event Saturday night and parked nearby. When asked to move my car, I did.’’

Bousquet said he noticed that a car belonging to a state representative was parked in the driveway of his former neighbor on Winston Court. The home had been vacant and he and other neighbors were looking out for the property as the foreclosure process moved forward, Bousquet said.

Pavalock-D’Amato was attending a large party Saturday evening and left her car in the Winston Court driveway, although she lives “about two minutes” away walking, Bousquet said. “The cars parked for the party nearly stretched back to her house.”

The party was a Republican fundraiser, Democrats said.

Bousquet said that when he saw the vehicle in the driveway he called the property owner, who said that no one should be parked there.

“If it was anyone else’s car, I would have done the same thing,” said Bousquet, who admitted that he had left a note on Pavalock-D’Amato’s car telling her to “move” her “f***ing” vehicle. “The fact that it was a state legislator’s vehicle made me even more curious.”

He then went to the location of the party and told the host that the car needed to be moved, he said.

Pavalock-D’Amato moved the vehicle a few minutes later, Bousquet said.

The next morning as Bousquet was walking his dog he spotted a pink piece of paper hanging on the mailbox. The paper had the letter “C” printed at the top and the profanity filled message.

“I know that two wrongs don’t make a right,” Bousquet said. “I know my language was not quite appropriate but her response was way above that.”

Bousquet has no idea how Pavalock-D’Amato knew that the property was in foreclosure proceedings. He said the property owner played no role in asking her to move the car other than confirming that no one should be parked there.

Bousquet sought an apology from the Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato by posting a description of what transpired, along with a photo of the note, on her Facebook page, he said.

The post was deleted from her page, Bousquet said, but he also posted a similar message on one of the two Bristol Talks Facebook groups – between the two groups with identical titles there are almost 37,000 members.

That post also was deleted, but by that point it had been shared on other local pages, including in the Southington Talks Facebook group, with more than 29,000 members.