A surveillance camera captured a video of a Florida man allegedly ramming into a statue of a big blue bunny with his car on Sunday, NBC 6 Miami reported.
Whilton Manors Police arrested 49-year-old Derek Alan Modrok for allegedly driving into the Thunder Blue rabbit statue at a local park, according to NBC 6 Miami. Officers responded to a report of vandalism at Justin Flippen Park at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday.
The suspect traveled off the roadway and then directly into the statue of the bunny rabbit, according to a video of the incident. Before he left the scene, the suspect stopped what he was doing to “reattach a part of the car that fell off,” the outlet noted.
The Thunderbunny has arrived to the city of @WiltonManors at Justin Flippen Park on Wilton Drive. This 13.5 ft tall, 600+ pd glass mosaic bunny rabbit sculpture was created by Hunt Slonem and is adding fabulous #PublicArt to our island city!#thunderbunny#wiltonmanors#publicart pic.twitter.com/7akeWMWGGy
— Art Gallery 21 (@ArtGallery211) May 11, 2023
“It’s very disappointing and shocking,” sculptor Hunt Slonem told the outlet. “The point of the sculpture is to make people joyous and celebrate life.”
That statue had a price tag of $300,000, NBC 6 Miami reported.
Officers responded to Justin Flippen Park in reference to a vandalism. With help from witnesses, officers were able to locate the vehicle & apprehend the offender. The offender is connected to other vandalisms in the city.Thank you to the officers & supportive roles who assisted. pic.twitter.com/Ssts3h0V9F
— wmpd411 (@WMPD411) May 21, 2023
Modrok allegedly claimed responsibility for other vandalism incidents in the city, including a sign at the same park and a “popsicle statue” at Rachel Richardson Park on May 18, the outlet reported. (RELATED: NYU Student Investigated For ‘Antisemitic Bigotry’ After ‘F**k Israel’ Vandalism In University Library)
Police said the suspect’s intent was not motivated by hate or bias, but that he was unhappy with former Whilton Manors Mayor Justin Flippen, whom the park’s name honors. Modrok allegedly told officers he targeted the recently-unveiled statue because the former Mayor Flippen was “responsible for the birds that we hear,” the outlet reported. (RELATED: Man Charged With Poisoning, Killing Almost 50 Fish In Koi Pond Owned By Rhode Island Senator’s Wife)
Modrok faces charges on three counts of criminal mischief.
“Really pretty strange that someone would want to do this,” Slonem added. “It’s just a lot of effort that is tragically wasted, it can probably be repaired to some degree, but it’s a metal base and will never be the same.”
The statue is reportedly on loan and commissioners will evaluate reparation procedures, the report noted.