Jackie Robinson Statue Stolen from youth league field in Kansas found burned in a trash can

Jackie Robinson Statue Stolen from youth league field in Kansas found burned in a trash can

(CNN) — The ankle-cut Jackie Robinson monument taken last week from a Little League baseball field in Wichita, Kansas, was recovered torched and in bits in a garbage can at another park, authorities said.

At a Tuesday press conference, Wichita Police Department spokesperson Andrew Ford said officers responded to a Garvey Park garbage can fire Tuesday morning.

The fire service saw portions of the Jackie Robinson monument after extinguishing the fire, which is irreparable, Ford stated during the news conference.

CNN station KLBY said that League 42, a group that offers low-cost baseball registration for youngsters, collected $50,000 for the life-sized monument at their field. The league was called after Robinson's jersey number to honor the Black player who broke the Major League's color barrier. Police said the crime happened around midnight Thursday.

The theft and arson are under investigation. A truck linked to the heist was recovered by police on Monday.

“There will be an arrest but we’re going to make sure we have a solid case,” Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan said Tuesday.

On Sunday, Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson told CNN the monument “was a symbol of hope” in the town.

On Tuesday, Johnson called the revelation “heartbreaking.”

“I hate to see that the statue was not in one piece,” he told reporters. I do want everyone to know we are undeterred to rebuild and put that monument back there for our neighborhood, League 42, and young people. That symbol of hope will only be gone for a short period.

Director Bob Lutz said at the announcement conference that League 42 will build a copy of the James Parsons monument using the same material.

“Fortunately, the mold from his work is still viable, and the statue that reappears at McAdams Park will be John Parsons',” Lutz said.

A GoFundMe started by Lutz has gathered almost $19,000 to replace the monument.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Leave A Comment
    1 out of ...