Harvey Updyke: From poisoning Auburn trees to terrorizing Lowe’s

Laura Byrne Contributor
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Harvey Updyke, the infamous Alabama football fan who poisoned the oak trees at Auburn University, was arrested again last Tuesday. This time, in Louisiana for “terrorizing.”

What was he doing? Returning a lawnmower at Lowe’s Home Improvement Store in Hammond, Louisiana. Updyke demanded $150 for the lawnmower, and when the store manager only offered $110, Updyke threatened to “come back and take care of everyone.”

The arresting officer told Updyke he could never come back to this Lowe’s again, but Updyke dismissed this warning, insisting he would indeed come back to the store and “it would be his last time.”

The officer arrested Updyke on terrorizing charges, and he was taken to Hammond City Jail that evening, before being transferred to Amite Parish Prison on Wednesday.

Updyke declined the officer’s recommendation to call a lawyer, saying, “he would take care of this on his own,” according to the Times-Picayune.

“He had a sad story. He said he was going to prison anyway, he had a bad heart, and he didn’t care,” Hammond Police Lt. Vincent Giannobile told the Times Picayune.

This court case will have to wait, because Updyke has another trial this Thursday, where he will be tried for poisoning the Toomer’s Corner oak trees at Auburn University in December 2010 after the Auburn football team beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

Updyke was cuaght after he called in on the “Paul Finebaum Radio Network” to brag about his handy work. “I poisoned the two Toomer’s trees. I put spike 80df in ‘em…They definitely will die… Roll damn tide,” Updyke told Finebaum.

He is now being charged for criminal mischief and desecrating a venerable object. He is pleading not guilty by reason of mental disease.

Updyke is also wanted in Texas for charges reportedly similar to those in Louisiana.


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Laura Byrne