Local News

Police To Step Up Patrols After More 'Andy' Vandalism

Posted September 22, 2004

— Raleigh police say they plan to step up patrol in Pullen Park after vandals targeted a statue for the second time in a week.

The statue of Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son, Opie, from "The Andy Griffith Show" was the target of a paint ball gun.

Police say other sections of the park, including the boat rides, were also targeted. The paint was removed, and no major damage was reported.

In Mayberry, Andy Griffith probably would have given a vandal a serious talking to. In Raleigh, whoever vandalized the Opie and Andy statue will likely get a lot more than that.

"I would not want to be charged with this and go before a judge in Wake County," said Capt. Dennis Poteat, of the Raleigh Police Department. "You can believe the security at this facility is going to be stepped up. We're going to work hard to develop evidence and leads and try to find who is doing this."

Fans of the "Andy Griffith Show" have some ideas about how the vandals should be punished.

"I think they should be locked in a room and have to watch the whole series of the 'Andy Griffith Show' until they come out and appreciate it," fan Tom Camp said. "If Opie would have done something like this on the show -- vandalized a statue, he would have been in some serious hot water."

It is the third time someone has robbed the statue of its innocence. Sunday, fishing poles were broken off and taken from the statue that depicts the father and son heading to the fishing hole.

Officials say the fishing poles were returned to TV Land, which owns the statue.

Last month, Raleigh Parks and Recreation workers noticed the plaque at the base of the statue was missing. It read: "The Andy Griffith Show. A simpler time, a sweeter place, a lesson, a laugh, a father and a son."

In time, TV Land plans to fix the fishing poles and replace the plaque.

The life-sized tribute went up in Pullen Park in October.

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