Archive for Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Vandalized campus Jayhawk could fly the coop

Campus bookstore owner says statue may be retired

July 18, 2006


The owner of three vandal-prone Jayhawk statues said he's ready to remove them from the Kansas University campus if the latest culprits aren't brought to justice.

Bill Muggy, owner of Jayhawk Bookstore, 1420 Crescent Road, and the three statues there, said the latest vandalism could be the last straw for the iconic sculptures.

The "Bit o' Hawk" statue was ripped from its pedestal and had its leg cut off.

"At this point, they're either going to be given a large coffin or retired if we can put it back together," Muggy said.

The statue, decorated with mosaic tiles, had previously been vandalized, as have other Jayhawks on Parade statues on campus.

But many of those incidents happened after KU football or basketball games, fueled by rivalries against Missouri and Kansas State.

This time, Muggy said, video footage showed at least one man in a Kansas University jersey with the number 13 on the back taking part in ripping the statue from its base.

Two other people - another man and one woman - also participated in the early Sunday destruction, the video showed. The vandals sawed off one of the Jayhawk's legs and took it with them.

The Jayhawk statue outside Jayhawk Bookstore, 1420 Crescent Road, lies on its front after vandals damaged it Sunday. The bookstore owner said he may remove it from campus to prevent further attacks.

The Jayhawk statue outside Jayhawk Bookstore, 1420 Crescent Road, lies on its front after vandals damaged it Sunday. The bookstore owner said he may remove it from campus to prevent further attacks.

"It was their souvenir," Muggy said.

Muggy reported the incident to the Lawrence Police Department, who responded Sunday morning when store employees noticed the damage.

But Muggy said he had his doubts police would catch the criminals. He said police had done little besides taking a report and hadn't asked for the store's surveillance footage.

Police spokeswoman Kim Murphree said any evidence the store or others might have will become part of the investigation.

"We do look at all leads and all possibilities," Murphree said.

Meanwhile, Muggy said he would offer a $1,000 reward to anyone who approaches the bookstore or police with information about the crime.

Until that happens, Muggy will contemplate the future of the Jayhawk statues. He said he'll give it two weeks, and if the people who broke the bird haven't been found, he'll retire the statues from public life.

It's a shame, Muggy said. Many graduating seniors choose to get their photos taken in front of "Bit o' Hawk."

Plus, visitors always comment on the statues when they come to buy their books, he said.

"These statues," Muggy said, "they're totally irreplaceable."


Kelly Powell 11 years ago

Face it, it is just a too tempting ......Much like the plastic jb's big boy, drunks are drawn to it like moths to a flame.

pundit 11 years ago

Hadn't thought about JB's big boy for decades... :)

monkeyhawk 11 years ago

KC channel 5 aired the video on their newscast last night. Seems like it would be fairly easy to identify the three vandals. Why didn't the LPD want the video? Why didn't 6 air it on their newscast? Doesn't the city of Lawrence want the vandals caught?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years ago

"The owner of three vandal-prone Jayhawk statues said he's ready to remove them from the Kansas University campus if the latest culprits aren't brought to justice."

LJW: Bill Muggy's business is NOT ON CAMPUS.

cutny 11 years ago

Seems like it would take the police all of 5 minutes to watch the video. Guess there is no time to take any of the 200 of them off of the Lawrence Mean Streets Daytime Patrol. 2 to a car? Why stop there? I say 3 to a car at least. Old Enuf. You sound like one of those people that used to stand in front of somebody's house and tell them that the government owns the sidewalk, not the owner of the house.

Ken Miller 11 years ago

I'm not a KU alum, but I have lived in Lawrence for 16 years. I think those Jayhawk statues are really neat, and it SUX that anyone - drunk frat boy, MU grad, K-State drop-out - would destroy them. Any and all means necessary to catch the perps and make them do community service!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years ago

It's an important distinction: Bill Muggy is not a member of the university community. His business doesn't exist for the purpose of enhancing university services. He's a businessman, and a very poor neighbor to both the residents to his west and the campus to his east. He's there for one reason: to put money in his pocket. I'm not saying that the vandalism is OK, but this story suggests that the police department is turning a blind eye to campus vandalism, which is not the case. Its turning a blind eye to "Bill Muggy" vandalism, and when you consider how hard Bill has worked to gain enemies for himself over the years, this story is a Lawrence version of "Murder on the Orient Express".

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years ago

I know this would have been difficult, but its really too bad that those birds weren't made from concrete or stamped steel. They are targets for vandals.

Christine Anderson 11 years ago

Come on, whoever you are- LEAVE THE BIRD ALONE!

conservative 11 years ago

Cutny, I believe the way the process works is that officers show up and take the report. The report then goes through the police department and is assigned to detectives who will then request and watch the tape. Would be nice if they had time to do that on the first day, but despite how we all feel with the Jayhawks on Parade, I suspect the detectives might be busy with cases more pressing than vandalism.

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

Seems to me that the obvious solution would be to put the birds inside the buildings, where someone wishing to vandalize them would have to break in, in order to do it.

And if they did that, they'd have a lot bigger problem on their hands than just vandalizing a jayhawk.

Whatever happened to criminal damage to property? Doesn't this apply?

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years ago

build the bird a crutch and set him back up show the vandels they are not winning the battle of the birds.

egypt 11 years ago

I guess this is what happens when you get to old to steal your neighbors ugly pink flamingos, You have to go steal jayhawk legs.


Mama 11 years ago

I try to live my life by the Golden Rule. You know, do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. So catch the little sh**bags and saw their right legs off. HA!!!!!

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

It seems awfully petty of the bookstore to deny us the right to view these Jayhawks.

The_Twelve 11 years ago

LPD don't catch vandals. I personally witnessed an act of vandalism several years ago at my apt complex and wrote down the license number of the vandals. The owner of the vandalised vehicle, an international student, dutifully filled out a complaint. Because the perpetrators lived in Topeka, I was told that LPD were not going to "waste their money" in driving that far to seek justice.

I would encourage all out-of-towners to vandalise in Lawrence if this is still the case!

Kelly Powell 11 years ago

I wonder how many pennies one of those would hold? They would make one hell of a piggy bank.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

Oh. I was completely wrong. I thought he was talking about the vandals.

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