Police forces in Savannah, Georgia are on the lookout for the culprit behind a vandalized statue of a Revolutionary War general with googly eyes according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
While it might look funny, law enforcement and city officials are taking the matter very seriously.
In the state of Georgia, defacing, defiling or mutilating a grave marker, monument or memorial devoted to a deceased individual who served in the military can be considered criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor offense.
However, if the damage is more than $500, it will turn into a felony, criminal damage to property.
The statue is a monument to Nathanael Greene, a major general in the Army during the Revolutionary War, at his burial site in Johnson Square.
While he never fought in Georgia, his leadership and innovative strategies helped the state free themselves from British rule. Greene also moved to Georgia with his family after the war, but he died of heat stroke shortly after in 1786.
The statue is a 50-foot, white marble obelisk designed by the well-known architect William Strickland and was completed in 1830.
The original cornerstone was laid there on March 21, 1825, by one of Greene’s friends, the Marquis de LaFayette.
At the dedicatory ceremony, General LaFayette said the following.
“The great and good man to whose memory we are paying a tribute of respect, affection, and regret, has acted in our revolutionary contest a part so glorious and so important that in the very name of Greene are remembered all the virtues and talents which can illustrate the patriot, the statesman, and the military leader…”
“WHO DID THIS?!” ???? | The City of Savannah is looking for the person who “vandal-eyezed” a historic monument. They say someone put googly eyes on the Nathanael Greene statue in Johnson Square. They don’t think it’s funny and want to find the #GooglyEyeBandit ????@WRDW_WAGT pic.twitter.com/eSlBUaJifD— Jason Raven (@JasonWRDW) October 12, 2018
“Who did this?! Someone placed googly eyes on our historic #NathanaelGreene statue in #JohnsonSquare,” the official City of Savannah Government Facebook account posted on Thursday.
“It may look funny but harming our historic monuments and public property is no laughing matter, in fact, it’s a crime,” the post continued.
Police spokeswoman Bianca Johnson confirmed the googly eye crime was being looked into and taken seriously by city officials according to Buzzfeed News.
Johnson said that while the crime might be taken lightly and mocked a bit online, the police were taking the matter very seriously.
“It is a trespassing,” she said. “It is technically a crime, so we are going to be looking at the [surveillance] cameras and seeing what comes of it.”
“Everybody’s calling them googly eyes,” she said of eyes stuck onto the statue. “I don’t know what to call them. They’re little craft store eyes.”
“They didn’t do any damage,” she said.
Police will have to keep their eyes peeled on the lookout for the scoundrel who committed this heinous crime.