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Ice Sculpture Smashing Scourge Sweeps Waukesha

Jan. 29, 2013

Waukesha - A rash of recent ice sculpture destruction in the area of West Main Street has not abated, despite the early morning arrest of three men last Friday for allegedly destroying an ice sculpture outside Waukesha Wireless.

Two of the men, ages 23 and 24, were arrested at 2 a.m. on Jan. 25 for disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property. Martin Dominguez, 23, was arrested and charged with two counts of felony bail jumping after it was discovered he was on bail for possession with intent to deliver cocaine. He had signed a $2,000 signature bond that stated he must maintain absolute sobriety while on bail. He allegedly told police after being placed under arrest for the vandalism that he had "a couple of drinks" during the night, according to the criminal complaint. He registered a .10 on an administered breath test.

Approximately 11 ice sculptures have been destroyed since Jan. 21, according to police dispatch logs. Scattered along the downtown area, they are the remnants of the city's JanBoree winter festival, Jan. 18 to 20. The citywide event includes an ice sculpting demonstration and contest downtown.

Waukesha Police Captain Ron Oremus said the department has to deal with the destruction of ice sculptures every year. Despite increased patrols during the JanBoree, it is difficult to discourage would be vandals.

"Despite all the work that goes into them, some people just don't care," Oremus said.

He said he suspects the vandalism, which seems to be concentrated along West Main Street and the surround area, is the work of local bar patrons or teenagers.

The arrest of the three men has not slowed down reports of destroyed ice sculptures. On Jan. 26, several construction barrels and two ice sculptures on West Main Street were knocked over. According to the dispatch log, an officer talked to four subjects crossing Wisconsin Avenue walking away from the area. "No one admitted to knowing anything about the barrels," the log reads, and the subjects left.

Two more sculptures were knocked over on the nights of Jan. 27 and Jan. 28. One was located near the intersection of Main Street and West Broadway and the other was located near 716 Clinton St.

Patti McIntire, an employee at River's End Gallery, said they had a rose ice sculpture costing approximately $100 destroyed on Jan. 21. The business has filed a complaint, but McIntire said she does not want to see the suspect or suspects thrown in jail. She just wants them to pay for the damages and apologize.

"Its too bad people have to do stuff like that," McIntire said.She said vandalism was not issue for the gallery before.

Anyone found to be violating municipal ordinances against disorderly conduct or criminal damage to property can be fined not less than $50 and not more than $500.

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