BYU statue vandalizers allegedly caught when they went back to take pictures

Utah defensive back Chase Hansen (22) hits BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) in the first half during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

If you’re going to commit a stupid crime, don’t return to the scene of it a few hours later to take a picture.

That’s the lesson to be learned from the four Utah students who were arrested and facing criminal mischief charges after defacing BYU’s cougar statue before the teams played in Week 2.


According to the Salt Lake Tribune, a witness saw the car the group of students used to get to the statue. It had a Utah sticker on the back. After the witness provided police with a description of the car, the authorities knew what to be looking for. And lo and behold, the car returned to the statue after the alleged activity.

Officer Carlos Acosta of BYU Police Department wrote after interviewing all four suspects that after leaving a hotel parking lot south of the stadium, the suspects said they wanted to “check out their work” and drove by the stadium northbound on Canyon Road “so they could take pictures in front of it.”

They were stopped by police and all four admitted to coming up with the plan to paint the cougar red while at a new-student orientation at the University of Utah a few weeks before the game.

The Tribune report has more details about the alleged act, including that the driver, a female, was allegedly too scared to do any painting herself. The students will likely have to pay fines if they plead guilty or are convicted of the misdemeanor act.

The statue was cleaned up in time for the game later that night. And yes, the police report does corroborate what BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said at the time of the incident. The alleged perpetrators had paint on their hands.


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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!