Vandals Destroy Park’s Pan Statue

Saratoga Springs Police Track Whereabouts of Vandals

Park’s Pan statue destroyed; will cost $8k to repair

by Mark Mulholland, News Channel 13 WNYT | view source


SARATOGA SPRINGS – Police say the damage came after a long night of drinking.

It happened a little before 6 o’clock Tuesday morning.

Two guys stumble around near the Spit and Spat reflecting pool. One sat on Spat while the other takes a picture.

A couple buddies show up and now all four appear to be drinking the beer that two of them bought at a local store a few minutes earlier.

Police say surveillance pictures show them walking into the store.

Back at Congress Park, they decide to do some damage. One knocks over the cultured marble statue of Pan, a Greek god of the wild, while another decides to finish it off before all four take off.

The destroyed statue sits in a city garage now. DPW employee Phil Steffen says it will cost about $8,000 to replace.

Saratoga Springs Police Lt. Bob Jillson says if they catch the guys, they could be charged with felony criminal mischief. “Drunken shenanigans is what it looks like to me. Poor choices were made and damage was done,” Jillson said. “It’s not just something minor that can be overlooked.”

Jillson says they believe the men left a bar at closing time, ate a restaurant and then went to the park where they did the damage.

It’s the latest in a long line of vandalism to local artwork.

In 2008 two men and a woman try to mount the horse statue in front of Roohan Realty on Broadway.
After several attempts, one guy does a face plant into the sidewalk and knocks over the statue.

Last year, surveillance helped police catch the men who tried to mount the new horse statue at the top of Congress Park.

In 2010, teens were caught after vandalizing another horse near the Auto Museum.

And in 1999, police arrested teens who did thousands of dollars of damage to Spit and Spat.

But the people who did the damage Tuesday morning did not appear to be teens.

“That does make it worse. It’s just not right,” said Rose Anne O’Connor of Brunswick as she walked through Congress Park Thursday with her husband, Steven.

Police say they’re getting close to finding the guys who did it.

“We’re putting together a solid timeline on these individuals. We’re placing where they were, who they were with, and it’s just a matter of time before we get a name to put with a face,” Jillson said.