A well-known statue of Brutus Buckeye was vandalized early Sunday morning at College Traditions, an Ohio State apparel and souvenir store located at 286 West Lane Ave.
Store owner and president Kelly Dawes confirmed to The Lantern that the Brutus statue, which was adorned with an actual Ohio State University Marching Band uniform, had its plumed hat forcibly removed Sunday at 2:25 a.m. by an unidentified male.
Video surveillance shows two males and one female taking pictures with the statue. A visibly intoxicated male member of the party then unsuccessfully attempted to lift the entire statue before kicking it repeatedly.
The man then turned his attention to Brutus’ plumed hat, which he tore from the statue after approximately 20 seconds of shaking. The hat had been held in place by two screws.
“(The man) puts it on his head, he continues to take some more pictures,” Dawes said, “And then you see him walking down Lane Avenue with the hat on. It was not an easy task to do.”
The Columbus Police Department did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s Tuesday request for comment regarding the crime.
The statue, titled “Dot the ‘I’ Brutus,” was one of 40 uniquely-decorated Brutus statues sold in 2008 as part of the Brutus on Parade fundraiser, which benefited renovation efforts at the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library.
Dawes confirmed to The Lantern that “Dot the ‘I’ Brutus” was purchased by College Traditions for $20,000.
“The statue was one-of-a-kind,” said Dawes, who is still seeking estimates to repair the vandalized statue. “I’m not sure what the replacement value is going to be. I haven’t talked to the (Ohio State) band.”
Dawes also said the store is still planning to receive and display a bronze statue of former OSU football coach Woody Hayes on Monday with a possible unveiling ceremony to occur later.
“We’ll have lights and a camera on the Woody Hayes statue as well, absolutely,” she said. “We try to be a destination spot, not just an Ohio State store. When people come here, we want them to be like kids in a candy store.
“Brutus was one of those things — thousands of people had their picture taken with the statue and these people are ruining it. It isn’t right.”
Sunday’s crime wasn’t the first time a Brutus likeness has been attacked in the last year.
The actual Brutus was assaulted by Ohio University’s mascot, Rufus the Bobcat, prior to the Buckeyes’ Sept. 18, 2010, football game against the Bobcats at Ohio Stadium.
Former OU student Brandon Hanning wore the Rufus costume as he carried out the premeditated, pre-game assault on OSU’s beloved mascot.
Hanning was immediately escorted from the field after the attack and his affiliation with the Bobcats’ athletic program was disavowed.
OSU went on to defeat OU, 43-7. The game, along with the entire 2010 season, was later vacated as part of OSU’s self-imposed penalties for NCAA violations.