Three Palm Coast Teens Arrested in Venus de Milo Vandalism at European Village
FlaglerLive | August 5, 2014
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on Monday arrested three teens allegedly involved in the vandalism of a Venus de Milo statue at European Village in July.
The three are all from Palm Coast. They are Tyrone Walker, 19, of 55 Fischer Lane, Joseph Orza, 18, of 12 Conley Court, and Sequawne Solomon, 18, of 42 Louisberg Lane. Two other people were caught on surveillance cameras with the group of three the night of the incident. It appears that the sheriff’s office does have positive identification of the remaining two suspects, but their names have been redacted from arrest reports, suggesting that they may be underage.
Mark Pierro of European Village had reported to deputies last month that on July 9, the small statue reproducing the famed Venus de Milo, and valued at $3,500, had been beheaded and broken around midnight that night, and that the head of the statue had disappeared.
The three who were arrested were identified on July 31, the same day that the sheriff’s office distributed an image of the surveillance still to media and to deputies in the field. The same day, deputies approached Solomon while he was walking down a street in the area of Old Kings Road and Matanzas Woods Parkway, at the northeast end of Palm Coast. He was stopped, his arrest report states, “because he matched the description in the attempt to identify bulletin.”
After he was read his Miranda rights, Solomon acknowledged that he was one of the individuals in the surveillance video. He provided a written statement and was released. In Walker’s arrest report, Solomon and the girl involved in the incident both alleged to deputies that Walker had been the one who pushed the statue. Walker, in a brief interview, denied having taken part in pushing the statue.
In Orza’s arrest report, however, Solomon and an unidentified suspect both put the blame on Orza, and that Orza had taken the head of the statue. Deputies contacted Orza on Monday, but after he was read his rights, he invoked his right to have a lawyer present before he would say anything, so questioning did not proceed.
Deputies contacted Walker also on Monday morning. After hearing his rights, he acknowledged being on the video surveillance, but, he said, not of pushing over the statue that night.
An earlier version of this story stated that he had acknowledged knocking over the statue, because his arrest report states: “Tyrone stated he was at the European Village on the morning of July 9, 2014, but did push over the statue.” Walker said the report contains a misprint–that the crucial word not is missing, and that the report should have read that he did not push over the statue. In that report, Walker places the blame for the statue being knocked over on Solomon, not Orza, and that he (Walker), Orza and a third unidentified suspect told Solomon not to do it.
Walker, according to the report, declined writing a statement. He subsequently said in the interview that “I wanted to write a statement but the opportunity wasn’t given to me.”
On Monday, all three adults were arrested and booked at the Flagler County jail with a criminal mischief charge each. Bond was set at $1,000 for Orza and Solomon, which they posted, so they were released. Tuesday morning, the jail log listed Walker as still incarcerated, with no bond set.