Reagan Statue Vandalized at California Sports Park, Donations Sought

Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013 11:20 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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The Ronald Reagan Sports Park in Temecula, Calif. is asking for donations to repair a statue of the 40th president that was vandalized last week. 

A park worker discovered the damage on the life-sized, bronze statue of Reagan around 7 a.m. Friday, Fox News reported. The park, once named the Rancho California Sports Park, was renamed for Reagan in 2004.

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"It's an insult to the president as well as to the community," Perry Peters, founder of the nonprofit Friends of Ronald Reagan Sports Park, told Press-Enterprise. Friends of Ronald Reagan Sports Park raised the money for the statue.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Terry Jones told Press-Enterprise that the park worker found burnt debris from apparent arson at the bottom of the statue. The landscape and lighting was damaged, along with decorative tiles behind the statue.

The sports park said they need help to restore the statue to its original state on their website.

"Could these perpetrators be enemies of the Can-Do Spirit our community has demonstrated for years?... A spirit that was recognized by the President of the United States and which was a hallmark of our founding citizens?" the park's website said. "We will complete and restore the monument. As Reagan said, 'After all, we are Americans!'"

This is the second time in three years that a statue of Reagan has been damaged at a California sports park. In November 2011, vandals damaged a statue of the president at the Bonita Canyon Sports Park, according to KCAL-TV. 

In that incident, authorities reported a suspect secured one end of a rope around the top of the statue and the other end to the front of the vehicle, which the suspect drove, in an attempt to topple the statue to the ground. Police said it was unknown whether the suspect was trying to steal the statue to sell for scrap or trying to damage it.

Park officials said that the Reagan statue at Bonita Canyon had only been up for a month and was unveiled on the former president's 100th birthday.

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Related stories:

Michael Reagan: 'The Butler' Disparages Memory of Ronald Reagan

Michael Reagan: Obama Exploiting Dad’s Legacy For Political Gain

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