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Friday, October 31 2014 @ 11:20 AM CDT

Temecula: Reagan statue damaged in apparent arson

Local News

The life-size statue of Ronald Reagan, at his namesake sports park in Temecula, was damaged by vandals in an apparent arson fire, authorities said Friday, Sept. 20. The bronze likeness of the 40th president was blackened by the blaze. “It’s an insult to the president as well as to the community,” said Perry Peters, founder of the nonprofit Friends of Ronald Reagan Sports Park, which donated the statue to the city.

 

The life-size statue of Ronald Reagan, at his namesake sports park in Temecula, was damaged by vandals in an apparent arson fire, authorities said Friday, Sept. 20.

The bronze likeness of the 40th president was blackened by the blaze.

“It’s an insult to the president as well as to the community,” said Perry Peters, founder of the nonprofit Friends of Ronald Reagan Sports Park, which donated the statue to the city.

A park worker discovered the damage about 7 a.m., said Sgt. Terry Jones of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Jones said there was unrecognizable burned debris near the base of the statue. Inscribed granite tiles from the decorative wall behind it had fallen to the ground, apparently due to the heat from the fire. The landscaping and lighting were also damaged.

Jones said they don’t know who started the blaze or why.

Because the vandalism involved an apparent arson fire, the case has been turned over to the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department, Jones said.

Peters said the vandalism suggests some young people aren’t learning to appreciate “the greats in our history.”

“I hope they find who it is and get him straightened out,” Peters said.

The statue, in which the former president is depicted in work clothes, holding a shovel in one hand and a cowboy hat in the other, was dedicated last year.

Private donations covered the cost of the monument, which recognizes the volunteers who raised money and labored to build the Rancho California Sports Park in the early 1980s before Temecula became a city. The park was renamed in 2004 in honor of Reagan, who praised the volunteers’ efforts in a March 1983 speech to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Recreation Superintendent Julie Pelletier said city workers spent several hours Friday cleaning the monument and further repairs are planned.

“We want to get it back to its original state,” she said.

Follow Sarah Burge on Twitter @sarahkburge or online at blog.pe.com/crime-blotter

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/temecula/temecula-headlines-index/20130920-temecula-reagan-statue-damaged-in-apparent-arson.ece

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Temecula: Reagan statue damaged in apparent arson | 1 comments | Create New Account
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Temecula: Reagan statue damaged in apparent arson
Authored by: ArchStanton on Saturday, September 28 2013 @ 03:05 PM CDT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN1h4wQ1kck