WINTER PARK, Fla. – Winter Park police need the public’s help identifying the vandal or vandals who destroyed an iconic statue of Tuskegee Airman Richard Hall Jr. in Winter Park.
On Monday morning, staff at Hannibal Square Heritage Center said they noticed the damage.
Most of the damage was to the midsection of the sculpture that has stood near the entryway of the center since 2015.
“I was in disbelief, I could not believe it, I did not want to believe it,” manager Barbara Chandler said.
The 95-year-old Winter Park resident was honored with a statue for his service among the first African-American fighter pilots in the United States Military. Chandler said she can’t fathom what caused this.
“This is an intentional act of vandalism and we cannot have this in our city,” Chandler said.
The World War II veteran said he heard about what happened through a phone call but he hasn’t seen it in person.
“My caregiver brought me a picture,” Richard Hall Jr. said.
Chandler said the center does not have surveillance video, which is why staff and police are calling for the public’s help.
“This belongs to everyone but it especially belongs to Hannibal Square. Because Richard Hall is from here, he is a local hero,” said Peter Schreyer, Executive Director of Creadle School.
Schreyer said the artist who designed the statue plans to repair it and the center is working to install surveillance video.