WINTER PARK, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Police in Winter Park, Florida are investigating after the statue of a member of the Tuskegee Airmen was vandalized over the weekend.
The WWII veteran, Richard Hall, is alive and lives in Maitland, Florida. The 95-year-old, who grew up in Winter Park, was a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-Americans military aviators to fly and maintain combat aircraft in the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Hall's statue has been standing in front of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center since 2015. On Monday, employees discovered someone put a huge hole in the plaster.
“I was first going, ‘Why?’ That was the first thing that hit my mind. Why,” Hall told the News Station.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center Manager Barbara Chandler says it was an intentional act.
“They called me out, ‘Did you see this?’ I came out and at that point, I was in complete disbelief of what I was witnessing,” Chandler said.
Winter Park Police are investigating the vandalism. The war hero isn’t sure who would do this.
“I just feel sorry for the people who did it,” Hall said, adding that he doesn’t know why anyone would have hate toward him.
The center’s leaders say they’ve contacted the artist and the statue will be repaired in the next week or two.
“Just continue to keep the tradition of having the prominent statue here and feeling as though it’s giving us good luck,” Chandler said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Winter Park Police Department.