Parma Flamingo: Three Arrested in Alleged Vandalism

Police in Parma, Ohio, arrested three men on Thursday in connection to the removal and damage of the city’s flamingo statue.

At about 5 a.m. on May 25, video surveillance caught three people attempting to shove the sawed-off, 7-foot flamingo statue into the trunk of their four-door sedan. However, neither metal statues nor cars are known for their malleability. This complicated things. Defeated by physics, the perpetrators dumped the deformed flamingo on the street before fleeing the scene. They did make off with its right foot, though - only the left stem remains adjacent to the script Parma sign.

Taylor Paul Pupkiewicz, 25; Marcus Anthony Blue, 25; and David Ross Burak, 24, all of Parma, have already been released on bond after each being charged with fifth-degree felony counts of vandalism. 

Pupkiewicz, who claimed it was his idea, told local FOX 8 reporters that he wanted to give the flamingo to his daughter as a gift.

“My daughter’s huge into flamingos — loves flamingos, loves animals. We go to the zoo every Monday,” he said. “There’s one right down from our house. I seen the opportunity for it and figured we would give it a try. We were boozed up a little bit. So, that’s it.”

The statue was built via a $2,000 donation from Bob Funk, a citizen of Parma who commissioned the piece to pay homage to his wife and daughter, both victims of breast cancer. It was unveiled in January

Pupkiewicz apologized to FOX 8.

“I apologize to the family. I apologize to the other dude and his daughter and wife,” he explained. “We paid the consequences for it. I’m just sorry.”

Other than the ongoing legal issues the three men will face, the future is unclear for the Parma flamingo statue. Given its favorability within the community and the deeper meaning behind the pink piece of art, one would have to imagine that Parma will do what it can to replace the statue as quickly as possible. When that will be, or how it will get done, is yet to be determined.