Four teens face charges in statue vandalism

NEW LONDON - Police are expecting to charge four teenagers, ages 16 to 17, in connection with damage to the 110-year-old War Memorial monument last week. Two of the suspects are from Fitchville Township and rural New London and the other two live in the village. "The (two) boys are the ones (who) damaged the statue," New London Police Chief Mark Holden said. "The (two) girls are involved because they lied to us, had possession of some of the pieces and provided false information to the investigating officer."
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


NEW LONDON - Police are expecting to charge four teenagers, ages 16 to 17, in connection with damage to the 110-year-old War Memorial monument last week. Two of the suspects are from Fitchville Township and rural New London and the other two live in the village.

"The (two) boys are the ones (who) damaged the statue," New London Police Chief Mark Holden said. "The (two) girls are involved because they lied to us, had possession of some of the pieces and provided false information to the investigating officer."

The chief said the two boys could be charged with vandalism, "maybe even theft." "The girls could be charged with some form of obstruction of official business," he added.

Police forwarded a report to the Huron County Prosecutor's Office for the consideration of charges.

Holden noticed the rifle the Civil War-era soldier was holding was broken into several pieces, most of which had been taken away, between 8:15 and 8:20 p.m. last Monday. Police were able to recover only a few smaller pieces of the marble statue, located at Memorial Park off Kirk and North Main streets.

"I was going to dinner and saw the rifle was gone," Holden said.

Witnesses reported seeing teenage boys with a basketball in the area after the vandalism incident. Another witness reportedly saw a basketball inside the memorial fence.

"We were able to recover most of (the pieces), but it's irreparable," Holden said. "We're not able to patch it back together."

One tip from a citizen provided the biggest lead in the investigation.

"Officer Josh Wilson was the investigating officer and cleared the case within 24 hours," Holden said. "He did a great job on it."

Holden has contacted Franklin Monument in Norwalk about making a brass mold to cast a new rifle.

"I don't know how you'd put a price on it," the chief said. "The replacement cost will be expensive. You'll never be able to replace it."

The Women's Relief Core erected the War Memorial statue in 1897.

Holden said an intoxicated male suspect was apprehended several years ago after he climbed on the statue and attempted to a put a beer in the soldier's hand.


PO'ed (Anonymous)

Change these little _hitheads together and let them lead the Labor Day parade!!!!!!!! Then make them clean the park up and pay for ALL the damages!!!!!!! Jail is to easy for these punks!!!!!!

Make them pay (...

Make these kids pay for the damages to the statue. What disrespect they showed! Great job by the police department!

pissed (Anonymous)

I agree with PO'ed I know some of the kids involved and They deserve what ever punishment the town of New London can come up with...What they did was wrong and uncalled for. They should have to pay for all the expenses and write a personal apology to the town and its residents.

mt (Anonymous)

These kids are so igmorant. They have no idea of the meaning behind the statue. I hope their mommies and daddies don't bail them out. They need to be accountable for every piece of that statue.

mt (Anonymous)

LOL......I mean ignorant.

sarge (Anonymous)

teenagers are worthless..Put all four of them in a hard labor camp for one year.

mac (Anonymous)

those kids should have to pay for it and also should do work around the town to pay for it and should be put on house arresd for a year so we know they wont do it anymore

Just a thought ...

Make them stay with the Gravelles for 1 year and be put in cages, lol.

mac (Anonymous)

they need to lead the town in a parade saying the were the one that broke the gun on the statue

T$Robinson.... ...

to everyone who commented , especially "mac" you are so right .. i do understand your anger , and i hope that the law throws the book at them .. i do think however, that it's about time that the law takes a look at the "juvenile " status .. like the legal responsibility age being 18 .. i think that , that is way outdated , and it's ashame that these "kids"names and faces weren't in the newspaper , like they deserved to be.. i think that by the time "kids" are 12 or 13 , they are reasonable and responsible enough to know right from wrong , and they should be accountable for their actions !!it's no wonder that the jv crime rate is so high , they know that they can get away with anything , even murder , and it will just go on their jv record , and that will be erased once they reach 18

Gas Guzzler (An...

i know that i am changing the subject here for a moment.. but please bear with me ...i drove to Bellevue yesterday , and i was shocked to see that the price of gas in Norwalk , was $.20 higher per gallon , in Norwalk , compared to the surrounding area??? why ?? i feel that the Norwalk gas merchants are taking advantage of us , and the sad part is , i feel that they think that we have become so complacent , that we will just sit back and take it , and do nothing about it .. that is why i am asking for your help .. please join us in our oun summertime"gas out" and let us stand together , and show the gas dealers that we are NOT going to allow them to gouge us anymore. lets show them that we have strength and power in numbers , and when we all stand together , we can , and we will make a difference !!let's all stop buying our gas at these inflated prices and buy our gas out of town where it is cheaper , so we can save money , and we will demonstrate that we are holding the money , and we will spend our money where they treat us fairl and charge us a "reasonable" price. please join us , and tell your friends , and your relatives , and your neighbors , and everyone in your email address book , and tell them that starting right now , we refuse to be overcharged , and we will be filling up our gas tanks in Bellevue, Avery ,North Fairfield, or Sandusky and Elyria/Lorain areasand together as a community we can and we will make the Norwalk gas dealers cave in and lower their prices , to be more competetive with the surrounding areas ..I am a product of the late 60's and early 70's and i remember when we were able to make a difference when we saw an injustice .. and i believe that that spirit is still alive and well today .. so please , starting right now , join us in our quest for lower and more competative gas prices , in our summertime "gas out" Thank-You

Mr. Unbiased (A...

Here again is an example of what ten minutes of fun to a child that has no parental supervision and proper up bringing can do. What these children have done is irrepairable and unbeleivable. They did not just bust up a statue. They busted up history! They busted up all of the dead soldiers of this country that gave their lives for a free society. They tromped on all of the living vetrans of this country. I do not know what the punishment should be but it sure would be nice to see that they went and appologized to every vetran that risked their lives in the name of freedom. Thank them for their Ipods, x boxes, and everything else that is taken advantage of in this free society!!!!!!!

T$Robinson (Ano...

thank you " Mr. Unbiased" you speak the truth , they have done more than just defaced public property , they have slapped and disgraced every veteran that has ever served a day to defend this great country of ours.. i believe that they should do jail time , and pay to repair the statue , and be put on probation for many years , but mostly , i think that they should have to go to the Ohio Veterans Home , or some facility like that , and do some hard service time there... like scrubbing the rooms , cleaning the toilets , and wheeling around and assisting all of the veterans that made this country , the great place that it is today ...maybe some of the respect and loyalty that the veterans posess , will in turn , rub off on these destructive and selfish brats

???? (Anonymous)

to sarge: i didn't like your comment about all teenagers being worthless. it is statements like this that cause our youth to act out. if they feel that people think they are worthless then that is how they will behave. i do however agree that these specific teens need to be punished accordingly. some serious community service time spent with the veterans would be excellent. not only would they possibly begin to appreciate those who gave all for us, but they may also learn alot from these people that a teacher just can't teach about history. i also feel that restitution is owed to the city of new london, this statue was a part of this towns character and that has been stripped away. all we can do is hope that the courts take all this into consideration while dealing with this case. teens are like delicate flowers, if you don't nurture them carefully they will eventually be like the rest of the weeds in the garden and i don't think that people relize this when they treat these kids like " worthless" animals. parents your teens need guidance just as much as your little ones do. this is how they learn and grow to be better people. let's think about that!!!!!

Gas Man (Anonymous)

Re Gas Guzzler
Save yourself some real money and get your gas outside of Huron county!!!!! It's the almighty TAX dollar at work in this county!!!!!! I only get enough gas to get me out of this county to get cheeper gas. It was $2.55 in Ashland this week!!!!! Oh, publish the faces of the brats that tore up the monument!!!!

gas guzzler (An...

it really is ashame though that i have to leave Norwalk to pay a fair and reasonable price for gas ... on friday , the price of gas in Norwalk , was 30 cents higher per gallon , than in any other town around ...why?? i am tired of being gouged by the gas station owners in Norwalk , and i will continue to go outside of Norwalk to buy my gas ,,until they reduce their prices to a more fair and competetive range ..please join me in this , and together we can make a difference

rupert (Anonymous)

Just out of curiosity...what kind of vehicle does gas guzzler drive? Driving out of town for gas would only save me pennies while taking up time better used for something else. Maybe reducing your consumption of gas would be a better solution.

gas guzzler (An...

to "rupert" i hate to say it, but everyone with an attitude like yours is exactly the reason that the local gas dealers feel that they can charge us whatever they see fit to charge , even though it is at least 30 cents per gallon higher than anywhere else around us!... Iknow that this is alittle different , but i believe that it was Adolph Hitler who said that " the only thing necessary for evil to triumph , is for good men to sit back and do nothing" i do realize that the gas dealers are not the evil empire necessarily, but it is the same principle .. i am sorry , but i refuse to allow them to continue to overcharge me for my gas .. i must stand up and buy it somewhere besides Norwalk , until they lower the price down to a competetive range.

rupert (Anonymous)

No, they see people driving these huge, gas guzzling suv's and they think "why not make a few extra bucks from these fools?" The small amount of gas that I use would not make much difference to them. You want us to go out of our way so that you can feed your gas guzzler a little more cheaply.